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[hey-stak] /ˈheɪˌstæk/
a stack of hay with a conical or ridged top, built up in the mowed field so as to prevent the accumulation of moisture and promote drying.
Also, especially British, hayrick.
Origin of haystack
1425-75; late Middle English. See hay, stack Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for haystack
  • When you're looking for a needle in a haystack, best take a magnet.
  • In other words, the marginal utility curve of increased inputs into education is nonlinear and probably haystack shaped.
  • The needle-in-the-haystack hunt for the infrequent mutations was aided by next-generation sequencing technology.
  • The aim was to find a revealing brain activity that many people shared-a needle in a haystack of frenzied signals.
  • Needle in a haystack, as it were, except that you have only the vaguest of notions as to whether there's actually a needle there.
  • Anatase is always a trivial component a needle in the haystack.
  • It becomes more difficult to find the needle in the haystack, because now it's a bigger haystack and it's got more junk in it.
  • If you want to look for fossils, you're really looking for a needle in a haystack, he says.
  • The device had to be precise enough to locate a pin in a haystack, so to speak.
  • Finding needles in that cosmic-scale haystack will be the work of lifetimes.
British Dictionary definitions for haystack


a large pile of hay, esp one built in the open air and covered with thatch
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 haystack

mid-15c., from hay + stack (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with haystack


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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