1. a person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others.
  2. one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress: pioneers in cancer research.
  3. one of a group of foot soldiers detailed to make roads, dig intrenchments, etc., in advance of the main body.
  4. Ecology. an organism that successfully establishes itself in a barren area, thus starting an ecological cycle of life.
  5. (initial capital letter) Aerospace. one of a series of U.S. space probes that explored the solar system and transmitted scientific information to earth.
  6. (initial capital letter) (formerly) a member of a Communist organization in the Soviet Union for children ranging in age from 10 to 16.Compare Komsomol, Octobrist.

verb (used without object)

  1. to act as a pioneer.

verb (used with object)

  1. to be the first to open or prepare (a way, settlement, etc.).
  2. to take part in the beginnings of; initiate: to pioneer an aid program.
  3. to lead the way for (a group); guide.


  1. being the earliest, original, first of a particular kind, etc.: a pioneer method of adult education.
  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of pioneers: pioneer justice.
  3. being a pioneer: a pioneer fur trader.


    1. a colonist, explorer, or settler of a new land, region, etc
    2. (as modifier)a pioneer wagon
  1. an innovator or developer of something new
  2. military a member of an infantry group that digs entrenchments, makes roads, etc
  3. ecology the first species of plant or animal to colonize an area of bare ground


  1. to be a pioneer (in or of)
  2. (tr) to initiate, prepare, or open upto pioneer a medical programme


  1. a total abstainer from alcoholic drink, esp a member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, a society devoted to abstention


  1. any of a series of US spacecraft that studied the solar system, esp Pioneer 10, which made the first flyby of Jupiter (1973), and Pioneer 11, which made the first flyby of Saturn (1979)

n.1520s, “foot soldier who prepares the way for the army,” from Middle French pionnier “foot-soldier, pioneer,” from Old French paonier “foot-soldier” (11c.), from peon (see pawn (n.2)). Figurative sense of “person who goes first or does something first” is from c.1600. Related: Pioneers. v.1780, from pioneer (n.). Related: Pioneered; pioneering.

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