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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for haystack
Historical Examples
  • "'Twould be like hunting for a pin in a haystack," said the Rev. Hilary Jones.

  • "Didn't sleep very good in the haystack I guess," commented Ned.

    Frank Roscoe's Secret Allen Chapman
  • "Yes, it was a haystack for mine last night," Frank admitted with a smile.

    Frank Roscoe's Secret Allen Chapman
  • We two, perched on the haystack, did not take the words at all with a kindly meaning.

    Adventures and Recollections Bill o'th' Hoylus End
  • Presently Ivan mounted on to the haystack and began to play.

  • And that would be worse than hiding behind a haystack—for the good of the service.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • "Might as well look for a pin in a haystack," grumbled Roger.

    Dave Porter At Bear Camp Edward Stratemeyer
  • She can never see a haystack, therefore she is always so surprised and excited.

    The Arrow of Gold Joseph Conrad
  • On a night like this we might as well look for a needle in a haystack.

    The Grell Mystery Frank Froest
  • To look for him in a big city like this will be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

    From Farm to Fortune Horatio Alger Jr.
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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