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  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for haystack

Historical Examples

  • "'Twould be like hunting for a pin in a haystack," said the Rev. Hilary Jones.

    Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates

    Howard Pyle

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

  • "Yes, it was a haystack for mine last night," Frank admitted with a smile.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for haystack


hayrick (ˈheɪˌrɪk)

  1. 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

Word Origin and History for haystack


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with haystack


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

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