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.’