• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Touch-needle (Metal) A small bar of gold and silver, either pure, or alloyed in some known proportion with copper, for trying the purity of articles of gold or silver by comparison of the streaks made by the article and the bar on a touchstone.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Touch-needle a small bar or needle of gold for testing articles of the same metal by comparing the streaks they make on a touchstone with those made by the needle
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. toucher—from Old High Ger. zucchen (Ger. zucken), to move, to draw.


In literature:

He never touched a needle or so much as a pin, and when he untied the parcel he generally counted them to see that they were all there.
"The Burial of the Guns" by Thomas Nelson Page
When the jaws are touched with a needle they seize it so firmly that the branch can thus be shaken.
"On the Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin
The savages gaze, cannot touch through the glass the moving needle, grunt their admiration.
"Pioneers of the Old South" by Mary Johnston
The ground was deeply carpeted with dry pine-needles, and the fire touched them off as if they were gunpowder.
"Roughing It" by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
The copper plate was hardly marked with a few touches of the needle.
"The Ink-Stain, Complete" by Rene Bazin
Motherly kindness, sweetness, and thoughtfulness are expressed in every curve, in the slightest touch of the needle.
"Rembrandt" by Josef Israels
It came floating down, touched his shoulder like an accolade and rested on the pine needles by his foot.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
He said it was a magnet, that he kept to touch needles.
"Rollo's Experiments" by Jacob Abbott
Again he looked at it, this time touching it with the point of a needle.
"The Story of Silk" by Sara Ware Bassett
Ramos touched his needled side.
"The Planet Strappers" by Raymond Zinke Gallun

In poetry:

As needles point towards the pole,
When touched by the magnetic stone;
So faith in Jesus, gives the soul
A tendency before unknown.
"The Lodestone" by John Newton
Each various Scene, or Day or Night,
Lord, points to thee our ravish'd Soul;
Thy Glories fix our whole Delight:
So the touch'd Needle courts the Pole.
"To a Friend, on the Death of a Relative." by Mather Byles
Nah, dooan't touch mi thimel or needle an threead;
Sit daan like a gooid little child as tha art;
Wol aw wipe up this mess, an side th' butter an breead,
Then aw'll gie thi a penny to buy thi a tart.
"Come Thi Ways In" by John Hartley

In news:

Its ovoid leaves are thicker and stems sturdier than the many needle-leaved stem plants that tend to be delicate both to touch and to water conditions.

In science:

They do not start to move until there is a pressure differential of about 0.5 bar). A touch sensor makes electrical contact with the brass shim stock before it meets the needle, alerting the operator that seal rupture is imminent.
Bose-Einstein Condensation of Atomic Hydrogen