thread the needle

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

thread the needle (third-person singular simple present threads the needle, present participle threading the needle, simple past and past participle threaded the needle)

  1. (idiomatic) To find harmony or strike a balance between conflicting forces, interests, etc. Normally used to indicate the difficulty of doing so; also, sarcastically, for a failed attempt.
    • 2010, James C. Foster, Bong Hits 4 Jesus: A Perfect Constitutional Storm in Alaska's Capital, University of Alaska Press (2010), →ISBN, page 215:
      Were I writing for the Court, I would seek to thread the needle between acknowledging Principal Morse's authority, on the one hand, while respecting student Frederick's rights, on the other.

Quotations[edit]

For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:thread the needle.

Noun[edit]

thread the needle (uncountable)

  1. A game in which children stand in a row, joining hands, and in which the outer one, still holding his neighbour, runs between the others.

Synonyms[edit]