pawn Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “pawn” in the English Dictionary

"pawn" in British English

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pawnnoun

uk   /pɔːn/ us   /pɑːn/
  • pawn noun (GAME PIECE)

[C] any one of the eight least valuable pieces in the game of chess
[C] a person who does not have any real power but is used by others to achieve something: The refugees are pawns in an international political dispute.
  • pawn noun (MONEY)

in pawn
left with a pawnbroker: She had to put her ring in pawn to pay the bills.

pawnverb [T]

uk   /pɔːn/ us   /pɑːn/
to leave a possession with a pawnbroker, who gives you money for it and can sell it if the money is not paid back within a certain time: Of all items pawned, jewellery is the most common.
(Definition of pawn from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pawn" in American English

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pawnverb [T]

us   /pɔn/
  • pawn verb [T] (TRADE FOR MONEY)

to leave a possession with someone in order to borrow money from that person, with the understanding that if you do not pay it back within the agreed time, the person can keep your possession and sell it

pawnnoun [C]

us   /pɔn/
  • pawn noun [C] (GAME PIECE)

any of the eight least valuable pieces in the game of chess
A pawn is also a person who is controlled by others and used for their own advantage: She felt she had been used as a political pawn.
(Definition of pawn from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"pawn" in Business English

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pawnverb [T]

uk   /pɔːn/ us  
to leave a valuable possession with a pawnbroker (= someone who lends money in exchange for possessions): Under the law, the owner of an automobile may pawn it to secure a loan up to $2,500.

pawnnoun

uk   /pɔːn/ us  
[C] a person or organization that does not have any real power, but is used by others to achieve something: a pawn in sth The federal jury rejected the company's defense that they were an unwitting pawn in the scheme to sell confidential documents.
in pawn
left with a pawnbroker (= someone who lends money in exchange for valuable possessions): If a pawn shop loans $50 on a gold necklace, they might charge $5 to keep the necklace in pawn for each month.
out of pawn
no longer with a pawnbroker (= someone who lends money in exchange for valuable possessions): She had pawned the ring, and couldn't get it out of pawn until the Saturday.
(Definition of pawn from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“pawn” in British English

“pawn” in American English

“pawn” in Business English

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