• Homespun clothes were seldom discarded. The many pins, needles, and thimbles found reveal that mending was a never-ending chore for the busy housewife
    Homespun clothes were seldom discarded. The many pins, needles, and thimbles found reveal that mending was a never-ending chore for the busy housewife
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v needle goad or provoke,as by constant criticism "He needled her with his sarcastic remarks"
    • v needle prick with a needle
    • n needle a sharp pointed implement (usually steel)
    • n needle a slender pointer for indicating the reading on the scale of a measuring instrument
    • n needle a stylus that formerly made sound by following a groove in a phonograph record
    • n needle the leaf of a conifer
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Cleopatra's Needle Cleopatra's Needle

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: If you put a piece of scotch tape on an inflated balloon, then stick it with a small pin or needle, it won't pop.
    • Needle A hypodermic needle; a syringe fitted with a hypodermic needle, used for injecting fluids into the body.
    • Needle A slender rod or wire used in knitting; a knitting needle; also, a hooked instrument which carries the thread or twine, and by means of which knots or loops are formed in the process of netting, knitting, or crocheting.
    • Needle A small instrument of steel, sharply pointed at one end, with an eye to receive a thread, -- used in sewing.
    • Needle An injection of medicine from a hypodermic needle; a shot.
    • Needle Any slender, pointed object, like a needle, as a pointed crystal, a sharp pinnacle of rock, an obelisk, etc.
    • Needle (Bot) One of the needle-shaped secondary leaves of pine trees. See Pinus.
    • Needle See Magnetic needle, under Magnetic.
    • Needle To form in the shape of a needle; as, to needle crystals.
    • v. i Needle To form needles; to crystallize in the form of needles.
    • Needle To prod or goad (someone) into action by teasing or daring.
    • Needle To tease (a person), especially repeatedly.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The first revolving restaurant, The Top of the Needle, was located at the 500-foot level of the 605-foot-high steel-and-glass tower at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle, Washington. It contained 260 seats and revolved 360 degrees in an hour. The state-of-the-art restaurant was dedicated on May 22, 1961.
    • n needle A small pointed instrument, straight or curved, for carrying a thread through a woven fabric, paper, leather, felt, or other material. It consists of a slender sharp-pointed bar pierced with a hole for the thread, either at the blunt end, at the point, or in the middle. The first form is that of the common sewing-needle; the second, which is practically an awl with an eye at the point, is that of the sewing-machine needle, and the third form, which is made with a point at each end. is employed in sonic embroidery-machines. Sewing-needles are commonly made of steel; they range in size from coarse darning-needles to fine cambric-needles, and besides the distinctions of purpose and size are classified, according to the shape and character of the eye, the sharpness of the point, and the style of finish, as drill-eyed, golden-eyed, sharps, betweens, blunts, blue pointed needles, etc.
    • n needle In a wider sense, any slender pointed instrument shaped like a needle or used in a similar way: as, a knitting-, crochet-, or engraving- needle; a surgeons' needle.
    • n needle Anything resembling a needle in shape.
    • n needle Specifically— A small piece of steel pointed at both ends, and balanced centrally on a pivot, such as is used in the magnetic compass, in which it points to the magnetic poles, and in the needle-telegraph, in which its deflections, produced by electric currents, are used to give indications. See compass, magnet, dipping-needle, galvanometer, and needle-telegraph.
    • n needle A thin rod, usually made of copper, which is inserted in a drill-hole while this is being charged with powder. When the rod is withdrawn, it leaves a space in which can be inserted the tube of rush or grass, or the fuse, by which the charge is ignited. Also called a blasting-needle, or a nail
    • n needle In w eaving, a horizontal piece of wire with an eye to receive the lifting-wire in a Jacquard loom.
    • n needle A sharp pinnacle of rock; a detached pointed rock
    • n needle In chem. and mineralogy, a crystal shaped like a needle; an aciform crystal.
    • n needle In zool, a slender, sharp spicule; an aciculum.
    • n needle In bot, a needle-shaped leaf, as of a conifer: as, a pine -needle.
    • n needle In a central-fire hammerlesa gun of the variety called needle-gun, a pointed, slender, longitudinally sliding bolt or wire which, being driven forcibly forward by the spring-mechanism of the lock when the gun is tired, strikes with its front end against a fulminate or fulminating compound attached to the interior of the cartridge. The famous Prussian needle-gun is believed to be the first gun constructed to be fired on this principle. See cut under needle-gun.
    • n needle In architecture, a piece of timber laid horizontally and supported on props or shores under a wall or building, etc., which it serves to sustain temporarily while the foundation or the part beneath is being altered, repaired, or underpinned.
    • n needle A beam carrying a pulley at the end projecting from a building. The fall is worked by a crab inside the building.
    • needle To form into crystals in the shape of needles.
    • needle To perform or work with a needle.
    • needle To shoot in crystallization into the form of needles.
    • n needle plural In mining: Beams laid across a mine shaft to support a cage.
    • n needle Buntons.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first manager of the Seattle Space Needle, Hoge Sullivan, was acrophobic - fearful of heights. The 605 foot tall Space Needle is fastened to its foundation with 72 bolts, each 30 feet long. The Space Needle sways approximately 1 inch for every 10 mph of wind. It was built to withstand a wind velocity of 200 miles-per-hour.
    • n Needle nēd′l a small, sharp-pointed steel instrument, with an eye for a thread: anything sharp and pointed, like a pinnacle of rock, &c.: an aciform crystal: a temporary support used by builders to sustain while repairing, being a strong beam resting on props: the long, narrow, needle-like leaf of a pine-tree
    • v.t Needle to form into a shape like a needle, as crystals: to work with a needle
    • v.i Needle to become of the shape of needles, as crystals
    • ***


  • Ethiopian Proverb
    Ethiopian Proverb
    “Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree.”
  • Bible
    “It is easier for a camel to pass through they eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”
  • Japanese Proverb
    Japanese Proverb
    “Getting money is like digging with a needle, spending it is like water soaking into sand.”
  • Kehlog Albran
    Kehlog Albran
    “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle if it is lightly greased.”


Needle in a haystack - If trying to find something is like looking for a needle in a haystack, it means that it is very difficult, if not impossible to find among everything around it.
On pins and needles - If you are on pins and needles, you are very worried about something.
Rusty needle - When something is described as a rusty needle, it is badly damaged but still works, or if someone very is sick or tired but still manages to do things at a fairly good level. An alternative form is "a tarnished needle".


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. nedle, AS. nǣdl,; akin to D. neald, OS. nādla, G. nadel, OHG. nādal, nādala, Icel. nāl, Sw. nål, Dan. naal, and also to G. nähen, to sew, OHG. nājan, L. nere, to spin, Gr. ne`ein, and perh. to E. snare,: cf. Gael. & Ir. snathad, needle, Gael. snath, thread, G. schnur, string, cord


In literature:

Acupunctate: a surface with fine punctures as if made with a needle.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
I paused once to send a hail of needles ricocheting down the corridor behind me, and I heard a yelp from around the corner.
"Greylorn" by John Keith Laumer
Our fingers, forceps and a setting needle made of a large needle or part of a hat pin in a wooden handle will accomplish this.
"Home Taxidermy for Pleasure and Profit" by Albert B. Farnham
He remarked that this variation of the needle increased as he advanced.
"Notable Voyagers" by W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
Will it affect the galvanometer needle, or other delicate electrical or physical instruments?
"The Problems of Psychical Research" by Hereward Carrington
This was to keep her needles bright and smooth.
"A Little Girl in Old New York" by Amanda Millie Douglas
Coarser and heavier needles are required, also a wider gauge for the needle cylinder.
"Textiles" by William H. Dooley
And I'll needle those big brains till they do something about this.
"Alarm Clock" by Everett B. Cole
To look for a quarter-section here was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
"Land of the Burnt Thigh" by Edith Eudora Kohl
From the left nostril of the not-rat, a tiny, glasslike needle snapped out at bullet speed.
"Anything You Can Do ..." by Gordon Randall Garrett
Eunice was fond of her needle, too, though she was not equal to such deft workmanship as Edna was.
"Cricket at the Seashore" by Elizabeth Westyn Timlow
His finger nails were riven out with pincers, and long needles thrust up to the eye into the quick; but he did not wince.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
What is the cause of the sensation called 'pins and needles '?
"Fragments of science, V. 1-2" by John Tyndall
He held the long needle in his right hand.
"The Rich Little Poor Boy" by Eleanor Gates
You should see the flowers she first creates with her pencil and then copies with her needle!
"Fairy Fingers" by Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
A strong needle for stitching the sail to the bolt-ropes.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
It was the famous needle-bush.
"In the Musgrave Ranges" by Jim Bushman
He was aware of his wife's quiet figure, and quiet dark head bent over her needle.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
I found the specimens in Figure 48 under pine trees, growing on a bed of pine needles, on Cemetery Hill.
"The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise" by M. E. Hard
A needle called a netting needle, formed into a kind of fork, with two prongs at each end.
"The Ladies' Work-Table Book" by Anonymous

In poetry:

Our fair friends, here, have been vying
With each other in our aid,
Night and day their needles plying,—
See, what charming things they've made!
"Hymns and Odes for Charity Occasions VI" by John Pierpont
Hard was the race to reach the distant goal,
The needle oft was shaken from the pole;
In such distress, who could forbear to weep?
Toss'd by the headlong billows of the deep!
"On Hearing Of The Intention Of A Gentleman To Purchase The Poet's Freedom" by George Moses Horton
Raiment of needle-work, tenderly wrought,
Such is her robe, when the bride shall be brought;
Such her fair veil that, flower by flower,
Grew o'er her loveliness hour by hour.
"The Bride's Veil - (Psalm XLV. 15)." by Martin Farquhar Tupper
Raiment of needle-work; delicate skill
In twining the threads of the heart and the will;
Sweet tempers, kind offices, gentle wise words,
Daily self-sacrifice, likest her Lord's.
"The Bride's Veil - (Psalm XLV. 15)." by Martin Farquhar Tupper
Will she come? Will the ring-dove return to her nest?
Will the needle swing back from the east or the west?
At the stroke of the hour she will be at her gate;
A friend may prove laggard,--love never comes late.
"At The Turn Of The Road" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Once there lived a man who had a valley-full of needles. And one
day the mother of Jesus came to him and said: "Friend, my son's
garment is torn and I must needs mend it before he goeth to the
temple. Wouldst thou not give me a needle?"
"On Giving and Taking" by Khalil Gibran

In news:

'There are some brides on pins and needles '.
Emelie Hall, 22, of New Britain, was arrested after assaulting a police officer with a pair of needle-nose pliers .
Vets removed 500 needles from the bulldog.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a case that has had the pharmaceutical industry on pins and needles.
Student pricked 20 others with needle.
After fruit develops, gardeners can employ some tricks to avoid getting needled.
Tube and needle fabricator thrives with a unique workforce.
The median age of the Vita Needle emloyee is 73.
The front plate is chome and the arm has the needle intact and the wiring to the radio is there.
They want condoms for school kids and prisoners, public money for needle-exchange programs, health care for everyone with HIV and prevention campaigns that aren't anti-sex.
It might look painful- getting poked by dozens of needles- but for many people, acupuncture can be a very therapeutic pain relief method.
In November, The Needle published a story about Deb Manuma, a single mom who was facing eviction when her landlord failed to make house payments and the home entered foreclosure.
But I don't like needles.
There is strong scientific evidence for supporting medication-assisted therapies and needle exchange programs.
Mathematical models show that needle exchange programs prevent H.I.V.

In science:

The cosine-type bias leads to very regular needle like cracks (fig. 23) while the sine-type bias produces a completely new structure (fig. 24).
New model for crack growth using random walkers
One observes that a cosine-type bias leads to one-dimensional, needle-like structures, whereas the sine-type bias leads to ramified fractals.
New model for crack growth using random walkers
Grover L K 1997 Quantum mechanics helps in searching for a needle in a haystack, Phys.
Quantum Computing
Quantum mechanics helps in searching for a needle in a haystack.
Experimental Quantum Computation with Nuclear Spins in Liquid Solution
In an earlier study (Nieminen & Takala 1996) applied nonlinear time series analysis to measured (by needle) myoelecric signals (MES) and compared the result with classical ARMA models.
Review of Nonlinear Methods and Modelling
Very recently, elongated needle-like metallic grains were suggested by Dwek (2004) as an explanation for the flat 3–8 µm extinction observed by Lutz et al. (1996) toward the Galactic Center and by Indebetouw et al. (2005) toward the l=42o and 284o lines of sight in the Galactic plane.
Interstellar Grains -- The 75th Anniversary
In all these facilities conventional muon neutrino beams are produced through the decay of π and K mesons generated by a high energy proton beam hitting needle-shaped light targets.
Future neutrino oscillation facilities
A one-dimensional version of this model was constructed in an attempt to simplify the model (Morvan and Larini, 2001). A numerical experiment replicating fire spread through a tube containing pine needles (in order to replicate one-dimensional spread experimentally) was conducted.
A review of wildland fire spread modelling, 1990-present, 1: Physical and quasi-physical models
PIF97 was found to be comparable to the Albini model, except in P.halipensis needles where it performed markedly better.
A review of wildland fire spread modelling, 1990-present, 1: Physical and quasi-physical models
Slope and fuel load effects on fire behaviour: Laboratory experiments in pine needle fuel beds.
A review of wildland fire spread modelling, 1990-present, 1: Physical and quasi-physical models
Modeling of one dimensional fire spread in pine needles with opposing air flow.
A review of wildland fire spread modelling, 1990-present, 1: Physical and quasi-physical models
Pinus ponderosa needles or excelsior4 of varying fuel load and bulk density.
A review of wildland fire spread modelling, 1990-present 2: Empirical and quasi-empirical models
Hence therefore 0 = Z D̺′ dv + D̺ dσ + D̺′ dσ′ ; dv being an element of the volume of the needle, and dσ, dσ′ , the two elements of A’s surface by which it is terminated.
An Essay on the Application of mathematical Analysis to the theories of Electricity and Magnetism
The value of g, dependant on the nature of the substance of which the needles are formed, being supposed given as it ought to he, we have only to determine β in order to compare this result with observation.
An Essay on the Application of mathematical Analysis to the theories of Electricity and Magnetism
The Bertrand paradox can be traced back to the Buffon needle problem established in 1777 .
On the Study of Richard Tom Robert Identity