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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

needle

[need-l] /ˈnid l/
noun
1.
a small, slender, rodlike instrument, usually of polished steel, with a sharp point at one end and an eye or hole for thread at the other, for passing thread through cloth to make stitches in sewing.
2.
any of various similar, usually considerably larger, implements for making stitches, as one for use in knitting or one hooked at the end for use in crocheting.
3.
Medicine/Medical.
  1. a slender, pointed, steel instrument used in sewing or piercing tissues, as in suturing.
  2. hypodermic needle.
4.
Informal. an injection of a drug or medicine; shot.
5.
any of various objects resembling or suggesting a needle.
6.
the tapered stylus at the end of a phonographic tonearm, used to transmit vibrations from a record groove to a transducer for conversion to audible signals.
7.
Electricity, magnetic needle.
8.
a pointed instrument, or stylus, used in engraving, etching, or the like.
9.
Botany. a needle-shaped leaf, as of a conifer:
a pine needle.
10.
Zoology. a slender sharp spicule.
11.
Chemistry, Mineralogy. a needlelike crystal.
12.
a sharp-pointed mass or pinnacle of rock.
13.
an obelisk or a tapering, four-sided shaft of stone:
Cleopatra's Needle.
14.
Also called needle beam. Building Trades. a short beam passed through a wall as a temporary support.
verb (used with object), needled, needling.
15.
to sew or pierce with or as if with a needle:
to needle a patch on a sleeve.
16.
Informal.
  1. to prod or goad (someone) to a specified action:
    We needled her into going with us.
  2. to tease:
    We needled him about his big ears.
17.
Slang. to add alcohol or ether to (a beverage):
to needle beer.
verb (used without object), needled, needling.
18.
to form needles in crystallization.
19.
to work with a needle.
Idioms
20.
on the needle, Slang. taking drugs by injection, especially habitually.
21.
the needle, Informal. irritating abuse; teasing; heckling (used especially in the phrases give someone the needle and get the needle).
Origin
900
before 900; 1880-85 for def 16; Middle English nedle, Old English nǣdl, cognate with German Nadel; akin to Latin nēre to spin
Related forms
needlelike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for needle
  • Federal law bars the nations capital from using local tax money for needle exchange programs.
  • But those measures seem to have barely moved the needle.
  • The usual way of doing this is to insert a needle into the lump and draw off some cells.
  • When you're looking for a needle in a haystack, best take a magnet.
  • Use a large needle to thread thin elastic through the mask, knotting elastic at each end to create a band.
  • These dolphins were trained to prod swimmers or dummies with the needle.
  • It punctures the present: a needle pricking a balloon.
  • Another popular technique delivers the marinade via hundreds of needle injections.
  • Cone-shaped, slow-growing, bright golden plant with a mixture of scale and needle foliage.
  • Jabbing a needle into someone's vein isn't as easy as it looks.
British Dictionary definitions for needle

needle

/ˈniːdəl/
noun
1.
a pointed slender piece of metal, usually steel, with a hole or eye in it through which thread is passed for sewing
2.
a somewhat larger rod with a point at one or each end, used in knitting
3.
a similar instrument with a hook at one end for crocheting
4.
  1. another name for stylus (sense 3)
  2. a small thin pointed device, esp one made of stainless steel, used to transmit the vibrations from a gramophone record to the pick-up
5.
(med)
  1. the long hollow pointed part of a hypodermic syringe, which is inserted into the body
  2. an informal name for hypodermic syringe
6.
(surgery) a pointed steel instrument, often curved, for suturing, puncturing, or ligating
7.
a long narrow stiff leaf, esp of a conifer, in which water loss is greatly reduced: pine needles
8.
any slender sharp spine, such as the spine of a sea urchin
9.
any slender pointer for indicating the reading on the scale of a measuring instrument
10.
short for magnetic needle
11.
a crystal resembling a needle in shape
12.
a sharp pointed metal instrument used in engraving and etching
13.
anything long and pointed, such as an obelisk: a needle of light
14.
a short horizontal beam passed through a wall and supported on vertical posts to take the load of the upper part of the wall
15.
(informal)
  1. anger or intense rivalry, esp in a sporting encounter
  2. (as modifier): a needle match
16.
(Brit, informal) get the needle, have the needle, to feel dislike, distaste, nervousness, or annoyance (for): she got the needle after he had refused her invitation
verb
17.
(transitive) (informal) to goad or provoke, as by constant criticism
18.
(transitive) to sew, embroider, or prick (fabric) with a needle
19.
(transitive) (US) to increase the alcoholic strength of (beer or other beverages)
20.
(intransitive) (of a substance) to form needle-shaped crystals
Word Origin
Old English nǣdl; related to Gothic nēthla, German Nadel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for needle
n.

Old English nædl, from Proto-Germanic *næthlo (cf. Old Saxon nathla, Old Norse nal, Old Frisian nedle, Old High German nadala, German Nadel, Gothic neþla "needle"), literally "a tool for sewing," from PIE *net-la-, from root *(s)ne- "to sew, to spin" (cf. Sanskrit snayati "wraps up," Greek nein "to spin," Latin nere "to spin," German nähen "to sew," Old Church Slavonic niti "thread," Old Irish snathat "needle," Welsh nyddu "to sew," nodwydd "needle") + instrumental suffix *-tla.

To seke out one lyne in all hys bookes wer to go looke a nedle in a meadow. [Thomas More, c.1530]
Meaning "piece of magnetized steel in a compass" is from late 14c. (on a dial or indicator from 1928); the surgical instrument so called from 1727; phonographic sense from 1902; sense of "leaf of a fir or pine tree" first attested 1797. Needledom "the world of sewing" is from 1847. Needle's eye, figurative of a minute opening, often is a reference to Matt. xix:24.

v.

1715, "to sew or pierce with a needle," from needle (n.). Meaning "goad, provoke" (1881) probably is from earlier meaning "haggle in making a bargain" (1812). Related: Needled; needling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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needle in Medicine

needle nee·dle (nēd'l)
n.

  1. A slender, usually sharp-pointed instrument used for puncturing tissues, suturing, or passing a ligature around an artery.

  2. A hollow, slender, sharp-pointed instrument used for injection or aspiration.

v. nee·dled, nee·dl·ing, nee·dles
To separate tissues by means of one or two needles in the dissection of small parts.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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needle in Science
needle
  (nēd'l)   
  1. A narrow, stiff leaf, as of firs, pines, and other conifers. The reduced surface area of needles minimizes water loss and allows needle-bearing plants to live in dry climates. See more at leaf.

  2. See hypodermic needle.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for needle

needle

noun
  1. Criticism or goa¯d: a really nasty needle
  2. A hypodermic injection; shot (1943+)
verb
  1. To nag at someone; criticize regularly and smartingly; hassle: He keeps needling the guy about his looks (1940+)
  2. To age or strengthen an alcoholic beverage artificially, esp by using an electric current passed through a needlelike rod (1920s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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needle in the Bible

used only in the proverb, "to pass through a needle's eye" (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Some interpret the expression as referring to the side gate, close to the principal gate, usually called the "eye of a needle" in the East; but it is rather to be taken literally. The Hebrew females were skilled in the use of the needle (Ex. 28:39; 26:36; Judg. 5:30).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with needle

needle

In addition to the idiom beginning with needle also see: on pins and needles
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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