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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Hinge n.
 1. The hook with its eye, or the joint, on which a door, gate, lid, etc., turns or swings; a flexible piece, as a strip of leather, which serves as a joint to turn on.
 The gate self-opened wide,
 On golden hinges turning.   --Milton.
 2. That on which anything turns or depends; a governing principle; a cardinal point or rule; as, this argument was the hinge on which the question turned.
 3. One of the four cardinal points, east, west, north, or south. [R.]
    When the moon is in the hinge at East.   --Creech.
    Nor slept the winds . . . but rushed abroad.   --Milton.
 Hinge joint. (a) Anat. See Ginglymus. (b) Mech. Any joint resembling a hinge, by which two pieces are connected so as to permit relative turning in one plane.
 To be off the hinges, to be in a state of disorder or irregularity; to have lost proper adjustment.