1 pledge, mortgage, hypothecate, plight, deposit, Formal pignorate, Archaic gage, Colloq Brit pop, Chiefly US and Canadian hock:
I had to pawn my watch to get enough money to eat.
2 venture, stake, risk, gamble, hazard, chance, jeopardize:
By agreeing to donate one of his kidneys, he pawned his life to save hers.
3 collateral, guaranty or guarantee, pledge, surety, security, assurance, bond, bail, deposit:
She gave her jewels as pawn for the safe return of the children.
tool, cat's-paw, puppet, instrument, dummy, dupe, Colloq stooge:
He's not important: he's just being used as a pawn by the powerful interests involved.