needle

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See also: Wikipedia-logo.png Needle on Wikipedia.en.Wikipedia

English[edit]

An assortment of sewing needles
a hypodermic needle and syringe
needles (botany)

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English nedle, from Old English nǣdl, from Proto-Germanic *nēþlō, from pre-Germanic *neh₁-tleh₂, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)néh₁- ‘to spin, twist’ (compare Dutch naaien, Welsh nyddu, Latin nēre, Sanskrit snāyati ‘wraps up, winds’). Related to snood.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

needle (plural needles)

  1. A long, thin, sharp implement usually for piercing such as sewing, or knitting, acupuncture, tattooing, body piercing, medical injections etc.
    The seamstress threaded the needle to sew on a button.
  2. Any slender, pointed object resembling a needle, such as a pointed crystal, a sharp pinnacle of rock, an obelisk, etc.
  3. A long, thin device for indicating measurements on a dial or graph, e.g. a compass needle.
    The needle on the fuel gauge pointed to empty.
  4. A sensor for playing phonograph records, a phonograph stylus.
    Ziggy bought some diamond needles for his hi-fi phonograph.
  5. A long, pointed leaf found on some conifers.
    • 1994, Stephen Fry, The Hippopotamus, ch. 2:
      At the very moment he cried out, David realised that what he had run into was only the Christmas tree. Disgusted with himself at such cowardice, he spat a needle from his mouth.
  6. (informal, usually preceded by the) The death penalty carried out by lethal injection.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

needle (third-person singular simple present needles, present participle needling, simple past and past participle needled)

  1. To pierce with a needle, especially for sewing or acupuncture.
    • 1892, H. Lindo Ferguson, "Operation on Microphthamlmic Eyes", Ophthalmic Review‎, volume 11, page 48
      [] the eyes were once more beginning to show the old nystagmus; so I decided to needle the cataracts, and on Jan. 31 I needled the right eye.
    • 2000, Felix Mann, Reinventing Acupuncture, page 109
      Possibly the greatest effect is achieved in the hand by needling the thumb, the index finger and the region of the 1st and 2nd metacarpal.
  2. (transitive) To tease in order to provoke; to poke fun at.
    Billy needled his sister incessantly about her pimples.
    • 1984, Leopold Caligor, Philip M. Bromberg, & James D. Meltzer, Clinical Perspectives on the Supervision of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy‎, page 14
      FRED: Well, I teased her to some extent, or I needled her, not teased her. I needled her about—first I said that she didn't want to work, and then I think that there were a couple of comments.
  3. (transitive) To form in the shape of a needle.
    to needle crystals

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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