- a slender, pointed, steel instrument used in sewing or piercing tissues, as in suturing.
- hypodermic needle.
verb (used with object), nee·dled, nee·dling.
- to prod or goad (someone) to a specified action: We needled her into going with us.
- to tease: We needled him about his big ears.
verb (used without object), nee·dled, nee·dling.
Origin of needle
Related Words for needlebedevil, bait, nag, taunt, pester, goad, irritate, quiz, hector, irk, tweak, prod, badger, aggravate, prick, bother, question, rile, sting, nettle
Examples from the Web for needle
Contemporary Examples of needle
All of these may factor into the inability to move the needle on the scale.‘The Biggest Loser’ Could Be TV’s Most Important Show Ever
September 26, 2014
A sheet covered his body from the neck down, making it impossible to see where, exactly, the needle had been inserted.Lifting the Curtain on Oklahoma's Botched Lethal Injection
August 29, 2014
For instance, in one study, white subjects were shown videos of people being stuck with a needle.The Question in St. Louis County: Can Whites Empathize With Blacks?
August 23, 2014
Lydia also gets her vitals checked, arm rubbed with alcohol, and glove-covered hands safely inserting the needle.The I.V. Doc Comes to Your House, Fights Hangovers, and Wins
July 20, 2014
Watching others thrust the needle into their arms night after night turned her on to the idea of trying it.Hallucinating Away a Heroin Addiction
May 4, 2014
Historical Examples of needle
How many hours in the twenty-four do you devote to your needle?Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
"I'll use my scissors and needle on them to-night," she said, ruthlessly.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Wherever I glance my eyes, they meet something that pricks them like a needle.Old News
Who that has poached a pile does not gravitate there, as the needle to the pole?
The only thing in which she showed ability, if so it might be called, was in the use of the needle.Night and Morning, Complete
- another name for stylus (def. 3)
- a small thin pointed device, esp one made of stainless steel, used to transmit the vibrations from a gramophone record to the pick-up
- the long hollow pointed part of a hypodermic syringe, which is inserted into the body
- an informal name for hypodermic syringe
- anger or intense rivalry, esp in a sporting encounter
- (as modifier)a needle match
Word Origin for needle
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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with needle
- needle in a haystack
- needless to say
- on pins and needles