A kingpin, also called a "center pin" or a "five pin," is the pin at the very center in bowling. From the bowling pin definition of kingpin, we get its other common meaning: someone who is important. If you are the kingpin in your office, you are probably the boss.

The kingpin is the bigwig or the very most important, authoritative, or essential person in a group. The kingpins of the music business are often the owners of record labels rather than the actual musicians, and the kingpin of your bowling team is the person who bowls a strike every single time. In machines, an important vertical bolt can also be called a kingpin. In other words, there is a good reason that king is the most important part of kingpin.

Definitions of kingpin
  1. noun
    the most important person in a group or undertaking
    synonyms: bigwig, top banana
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    type of:
    important person, influential person, personage
    a person whose actions and opinions strongly influence the course of events
  2. noun
    the front bowling pin in the triangular arrangement of ten pins
    synonyms: headpin
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    type of:
    bowling pin, pin
    a club-shaped wooden object used in bowling; set up in triangular groups of ten as the target
  3. noun
    bolt that provides a steering joint in a motor vehicle
    synonyms: kingbolt, swivel pin
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    type of:
    a screw that screws into a nut to form a fastener
Word Family

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