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millstone

[mil-stohn] /ˈmɪlˌstoʊn/
noun
1.
either of a pair of circular stones between which grain or another substance is ground, as in a mill.
2.
anything that grinds or crushes.
3.
any heavy mental or emotional burden (often used in the phrase a millstone around one's neck).
Origin
1050
before 1050; Middle English milneston, Old English mylenstān. See mill1, stone
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for millstone
  • Fewer people are turfed out of their homes, but the millstone of debt weighs for longer.
  • But once those ships began taking on water, gold was a millstone around their necks.
  • It's too soon to tell how heavy that millstone will be.
British Dictionary definitions for millstone

millstone

/ˈmɪlˌstəʊn/
noun
1.
one of a pair of heavy flat disc-shaped stones that are rotated one against the other to grind grain
2.
a heavy burden, such as a responsibility or obligation: his debts were a millstone round his neck
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 millstone
n.

Old English mylenstan, from mill (n.1) + stone (n.). Figurative sense of "a burden" (1720) is from Matt. xviii:6.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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