• WordNet 3.6
    • n ninepins a bowling game that is played by rolling a bowling ball down a bowling alley at a target of nine wooden pins
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Ninepins A game played with nine pins, or pieces of wood, set on end, at which a wooden ball is bowled to knock them down; bowling.☞ In the United States, ten pins are used for this game, which is therefore often called tenpins.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ninepins The game of bowls played in an alley with nine men or pins.
    • n ninepins plural The pins with which this game is played. See tenpins.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Ninepins a game at bowls, a form of skittles, so called from nine pins being set up to be knocked down by a ball
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. nigon; Dut. negen, L. novem, Gr. ennea, Sans. navan.


In literature:

Had any one had the courage to do so, they would have gone down like a row of ninepins.
"The Cock-House at Fellsgarth" by Talbot Baines Reed
In less than a minute there was another heavy bump that shook the deck fore and aft, making all the passengers tumble about like ninepins.
"Bob Strong's Holidays" by John Conroy Hutcheson
The Dutchman, who hates the Zulus with all his heart, would knock them over like ninepins.
"Hendricks the Hunter" by W.H.G. Kingston
Near it stood a remarkable rock called the "Ninepin," detached from the land.
"Peter Trawl" by W. H. G. Kingston
What a shindy you have made, bowling us all down like ninepins!
"Jacob Faithful" by Captain Frederick Marryat
So thought not the City Guard, four of whom went down like ninepins.
"Hunted and Harried" by R.M. Ballantyne
Three Brazilians went down like ninepins; the rest turned and fled precipitately.
"Martin Rattler" by R.M. Ballantyne
Unfortunately there was a row of them he had just filled; and a dozen went down, like ninepins.
"Held Fast For England" by G. A. Henty
Sir Bryan fired and the bear tumbled over like a ninepin.
"Peak and Prairie" by Anna Fuller
Before the day was ended she was so tired that she did indeed merit Ninepins' sharp rebuke.
"Nobody's Girl" by Hector Malot