- 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 needlesbedevil, bait, nag, taunt, pester, goad, irritate, quiz, hector, irk, tweak, prod, badger, aggravate, prick, bother, question, rile, sting, nettle
Examples from the Web for needles
Contemporary Examples of needles
There were pictures of me crying, pictures of my hair falling out, pictures of me injecting myself with needles.Blogger Shares and Shames Cancer in ‘Lily’
December 9, 2014
Needles to say, no other high-income country behaves like this with deadly weapons.9-Year Old With an Uzi? America Is Tougher on Toys Than Guns
August 28, 2014
The image of this as a “luxury” service fades a bit when the needles appear.The I.V. Doc Comes to Your House, Fights Hangovers, and Wins
July 20, 2014
After that, who knows how many innocent straws of hay will start to look like needles under the gaze of unseen algorithms.The NSA Can ‘Collect-it-All,’ But What Will It Do With Our Data Next?
May 16, 2014
I'm kind of afraid of needles, but if there were a personal intravenous caffeine drip, I would seriously consider it.Mommy’s Little Secret? Coffee And Booze.
May 11, 2014
Historical Examples of needles
All we wanted was them needles and a little elbow-grease and gumption.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
Pins and needles, thousands of them—and something feels tight.Cleo The Magnificent
The needles and string were to be used for mending the explorers' clothes.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
No end of cotton and needles had to be sold to get such a sum together!Fruitfulness
It seemed as though a dozen needles were penetrating little by little into his flesh.Therese Raquin
- 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