AskDefine | Define pigeonhole

Dictionary Definition



1 a specific (often simplistic) category
2 a small compartment [syn: cubbyhole]


1 place into a small compartment
2 treat or classify according to a mental stereotype; "I was stereotyped as a lazy Southern European" [syn: stereotype, stamp]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From pigeon + hole.



  1. One of an array of compartments for sorting post, messages etc. at an office, or college (for example).
    Fred was disappointed at the lack of post in his pigeonhole.
  2. A hole, or roosting place for pigeons.


  1. To categorize; especially to limit or be limited to a particular category, role, etc.
    Fred was tired of being pigeonholed as a computer geek.

Related terms

See also

Extensive Definition

Pigeonhole may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adjourn, air hole, alphabetize, analyze, armhole, arrange, assort, bibliography, blood, blowhole, book, bracket, branch, break down, bullet-hole, bunghole, calendar, card catalog, caste, catalog, catalogue raisonne, categorize, category, clan, class, classified catalog, classify, codify, constitute, continue, cringle, cubby, cubbyhole, deadeye, decree, defer, delay, digest, divide, division, doghouse, drag out, enact, enact laws, enroll, enter, enumerate, estate, extend, eye, eyelet, file, filibuster, filing system, finding list, gasket, get the floor, grade, grommet, group, grouping, guide, handlist, hang fire, hang up, have the floor, head, heading, hold off, hold over, hold up, hole, identify, impanel, index, inventory, itemize, keep score, keyhole, kill, kin, knothole, label, lay aside, lay away, lay by, lay over, league, legislate, letter file, level, list, lobby through, logroll, loop, loophole, manhole, mousehole, name, niche, ordain, order, pass, peephole, pigeonholes, pinch, pinhole, place, placket, placket hole, playhouse, pocket, porthole, position, post, postpone, predicament, program, prolong, prorogate, prorogue, protract, punch-hole, push aside, put aside, put away, put in force, put in mothballs, put off, put on ice, put through, race, railroad through, range, rank, rate, rating, recess, register, reserve, roll logs, rubric, schedule, score, section, sept, set, set aside, set by, shelve, shift off, sideline, sleep on, slot, sort, spiracle, stand over, station, status, stave off, stay, store, stow, strain, stratum, stretch out, subdivide, subdivision, subgroup, suborder, suspend, table, table the motion, tabulate, take a recess, take the floor, tally, tap, tier, tight spot, tight squeeze, title, type, vent, venthole, veto, waive, yield the floor
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