needle

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nee·dle / ˈnēdl/ • n. 1. a very fine slender piece of polished metal with a point at one end and a hole or eye for thread at the other, used in sewing. 2. something resembling a sewing needle in use, shape, or appearance, esp.: ∎  such an instrument used in crafts such as crochet, knitting, and lacemaking. ∎  the pointed hollow end of a hypodermic syringe. ∎  a very fine metal spike used in acupuncture. ∎  a thin, typically metal pointer on a dial, compass, or other instrument. ∎  an etching tool. ∎  the sharp, stiff, slender leaf of a fir or pine tree. ∎  a pointed rock or peak. ∎  a stylus used to play phonograph records. ∎  an obelisk: Cleopatra's Needle. ∎  a steel pin that explodes the cartridge of a breech-loading gun. ∎  Building a beam used as a temporary support during underpinning. • v. [tr.] 1. prick or pierce (something) with or as if with a needle: dust needled his eyes. 2. inf. provoke or annoy (someone), esp. by continual criticism or questioning: I just said that to Charlie to needle him. PHRASES: the eye of a needle a tiny aperture or opening through which it would seem impossible to pass (esp. with reference to Matt. 19:24). give someone the needle inf. provoke or annoy someone: Lady gives him the needle because she knows it isn't true. a needle in a haystack something that is almost impossible to find because it is hidden among so many other things. ORIGIN: Old English nǣdl, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch naald and German Nadel, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin nere ‘to spin’ and Greek nēma ‘thread.’

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needleaddle, paddle, saddle, skedaddle, staddle, straddle •candle, Coromandel, dandle, Handel, handle, mishandle, Randall, sandal, scandal, vandal •manhandle, panhandle •packsaddle • side-saddle •backpedal, heddle, medal, meddle, pedal, peddle, treadle •Grendel, Kendall, Lendl, Mendel, Rendell, sendal, Wendell •cradle, ladle •beadle, bipedal, credal, needle, wheedle •diddle, fiddle, griddle, kiddle, Liddell, middle, piddle, riddle, twiddle •brindle, dwindle, kindle, spindle, swindle, Tyndale •paradiddle, taradiddle •pyramidal • apsidal •bridal, bridle, fratricidal, genocidal, germicidal, homicidal, idle, idol, infanticidal, insecticidal, intertidal, matricidal, parricidal, patricidal, pesticidal, regicidal, sidle, suicidal, tidal, tyrannicidal, uxoricidal •coddle, doddle, model, noddle, swaddle, toddle, twaddle, waddle •fondle, rondel •mollycoddle •caudal, chordal, dawdle •poundal, roundel •Gödel, modal, yodel •crinoidal •boodle, caboodle, canoodle, doodle, feudal, noodle, poodle, strudel, udal •befuddle, cuddle, fuddle, huddle, muddle, puddle, ruddle •bundle, trundle •prebendal • synodal •antipodal, tripodal •citadel •curdle, engirdle, girdle, hurdle •dirndl

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needle (nee-d'l) n. a slender sharp-pointed instrument. Most needles used for sewing up tissue during surgery have the suture material fused onto them. Hollow needles are used to inject substances into the body, to obtain specimens of tissue (see puncture), or to withdraw fluid from a cavity. intraosseous n. see intraosseous. See also stop needle.

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needle pointed implement for sewing OE.; magnetized steel of a compass; pillar, obelisk; sharp-pointed mass of rock XIV. OE. nǣdl = OS. nādla, nāthla, MLG. nālde, OHG. nādala (Du. naald, G. nadel), ON. nál, Goth. nēþla :- Gmc. *nēþlō, f. IE. *nē- sew, repr. also by MDu. naeyen (Du. naaie), OHG. nāian (G. nähen), L. nēre spin, Gr. nēma thread. See -LE1.

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needle look for a needle in a haystack proverbial expression for attempting an impossible task; earlier versions (recorded from the mid 16th century) are look for a needle in a meadow and look for a needle in a bottle of hay.
needles and pins, needles and pins, when a man marries his trouble begins traditional saying, recorded (originally as a nursery rhyme) from the mid 19th century, perhaps reflecting on the pressures of domestic life.

See also eye of a needle.

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needle A linear, commonly pungent leaf (e.g. in many conifers).

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needle. See spire.