[need-l] /ˈnid l/
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.
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.
Informal. an injection of a drug or medicine; shot.
any of various objects resembling or suggesting a needle.
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.
a pointed instrument, or stylus, used in engraving, etching, or the like.
Botany. a needle-shaped leaf, as of a conifer:
a pine needle.
Zoology. a slender sharp spicule.
Chemistry, Mineralogy. a needlelike crystal.
a sharp-pointed mass or pinnacle of rock.
an obelisk or a tapering, four-sided shaft of stone:
Also called needle beam. Building Trades. a short beam passed through a wall as a temporary support.
verb (used with object), needled, needling.
to sew or pierce with or as if with a needle:
to needle a patch on a sleeve.
Slang. to add alcohol or ether to (a beverage):
to needle beer.
verb (used without object), needled, needling.
to form needles in crystallization.
to work with a needle.
on the needle, Slang. taking drugs by injection, especially habitually.
the needle, Informal. irritating abuse; teasing; heckling (used especially in the phrases give someone the needle and get the needle).
a pointed slender piece of metal, usually steel, with a hole or eye in it through which thread is passed for sewing
a somewhat larger rod with a point at one or each end, used in knitting
a similar instrument with a hook at one end for crocheting
(surgery) a pointed steel instrument, often curved, for suturing, puncturing, or ligating
a long narrow stiff leaf, esp of a conifer, in which water loss is greatly reduced: pine needles
any slender sharp spine, such as the spine of a sea urchin
any slender pointer for indicating the reading on the scale of a measuring instrument
short for magnetic needle
a crystal resembling a needle in shape
a sharp pointed metal instrument used in engraving and etching
anything long and pointed, such as an obelisk: a needle of light
a short horizontal beam passed through a wall and supported on vertical posts to take the load of the upper part of the wall
(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
(transitive) (informal) to goad or provoke, as by constant criticism
(transitive) to sew, embroider, or prick (fabric) with a needle
(transitive) (US) to increase the alcoholic strength of (beer or other beverages)
(intransitive) (of a substance) to form needle-shaped crystals
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.
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.
needle nee·dle (nēd’l)
v. nee·dled, nee·dl·ing, nee·dles
To separate tissues by means of one or two needles in the dissection of small parts.
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).
In addition to the idiom beginning with needle
- Needle artist
noun a person who is adept at using needles, as a drug user, sewer; also, a tattooist Usage Note slang
- Needle bearing
noun 1. (engineering) an antifriction roller bearing in which long rollers of very small diameter fill the race without a cage to provide spacers between them
noun 1. the removal of a small amount of tissue or cellular material with a long hollow surgical needle, performed for diagnostic purposes. needle biopsy n. Removal of a specimen for biopsy by aspirating it through a needle or trocar that pierces the skin or the external surface of an organ and continues into the […]
- Needle beer
noun phrase Beer reinforced with alcohol or ether (1928+)