A lynchpin is a vitally important person or an essential element. You could say that a star player is the lynchpin of the team, or that technology is the lynchpin of the California economy.

Without the lynchpin, a group or project just won't work, won't go as smoothly, or will be otherwise less successful. The lynchpin of many bands is a great lead singer, and the lynchpin of a bountiful vegetable garden is rich, healthy soil. This figurative meaning of lynchpin (which is also spelled linchpin) comes from the literal definition: a pin that keeps a wheel attached to an axle.

Definitions of lynchpin
  1. noun
    a central cohesive source of support and stability
    synonyms: anchor, backbone, keystone, linchpin, mainstay
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    type of:
    something providing immaterial assistance to a person or cause or interest
  2. noun
    pin inserted through an axletree to hold a wheel on
    synonyms: linchpin
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    type of:
    a small slender (often pointed) piece of wood or metal used to support or fasten or attach things
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘lynchpin'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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