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pins and needles

a tingly, prickly sensation in a limb that is recovering from numbness.
on pins and needles, in a state of nervous anticipation:
The father-to-be was on pins and needles.
Origin of pins and needles
First recorded in 1800-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for on pins and needles

pins and needles

noun (functioning as sing) (informal)
a tingling sensation in the fingers, toes, legs, etc, caused by the return of normal blood circulation after its temporary impairment
on pins and needles, in a state of anxious suspense or nervous anticipation
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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on pins and needles in Culture

on pins and needles definition

In a state of anxiety or tense expectation: “Jackie was on pins and needles waiting to hear about her job application.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with on pins and needles

on pins and needles

Nervously anxious, as in He was on pins and needles, waiting for the test results. The graphic expression pins and needles for the tingling sensation experienced in recovering from numbness was transferred to a feeling of marked mental uneasiness about 1800.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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