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noun nee·dle \ˈnē-dəl\

Simple Definition of needle

  • : a small, very thin object that is used in sewing and that has a sharp point at one end and a hole for thread

  • : one of the two long, thin sticks that are used in knitting and that are pointed at one end

  • : a very thin, pointed steel tube that is pushed through the skin so that something (such as a drug) can be put into your body or so that blood or other fluids can be taken from it

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of needle

  1. 1 a :  a small slender usually steel instrument that has an eye for thread or surgical sutures at one end and that is used for sewing b :  any of various devices for carrying thread and making stitches (as in crocheting or knitting) c (1) :  a slender hollow instrument for introducing material into or removing material from the body (as by insertion under the skin) (2) :  any of various slender hollow devices used to introduce matter (as air) into or remove it from an object (as a ball)

  2. 2 a :  a slender bar of magnetized steel that when allowed to turn freely (as in a compass) indicates the direction of a magnetic field (as of the earth) b :  a slender usually sharp-pointed indicator on a dial

  3. 3 a :  a slender pointed object resembling a needle: as (1) :  a pointed crystal (2) :  a sharp rock (3) :  obelisk b :  a needle-shaped leaf (as of a conifer) c :  a slender rod (as of jewel or steel) with a rounded tip used in a phonograph to transmit vibrations from a record :  stylus d :  a slender pointed rod controlling a fine inlet or outlet (as in a valve)

  4. 4 :  a teasing or gibing remark

needlelike play \ˈnē-dəl-ˌ(l)īk\ adjective

Examples of needle in a sentence

  1. I need a needle and thread to sew the button on your shirt.

  2. The needle on the scale points to 9 grams.

  3. The compass needle points north.

Illustration of needle

Origin of needle

Middle English nedle, from Old English nǣdl; akin to Old High German nādala needle, nājan to sew, Latin nēre to spin, Greek nēn

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Handicraft Terms

Rhymes with needle



verb nee·dle

Simple Definition of needle

  • : to criticize and laugh at (someone) in either a friendly or an unkind way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of needle

needledneedling play \ˈnēd-liŋ, ˈnē-dəl-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to sew or pierce with or as if with a needle

  3. 2 a :  tease, torment b :  to incite to action by repeated gibes <needled the boy into a fight>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  sew, embroider

needler play \ˈnēd-lər, ˈnē-dəl-ər\ noun

Examples of needle in a sentence

  1. His classmates needled him about his new haircut.

  2. <we needled him mercilessly for thinking that he had any chance of being the prom date for the school's most popular girl>

Circa 1715

First Known Use of needle

circa 1715

NEEDLE Defined for Kids



noun nee·dle \ˈnē-dəl\

Definition of needle for Students

  1. 1 :  a small slender pointed usually steel tool used for sewing

  2. 2 :  a slender pointed piece of metal or plastic (used for knitting)

  3. 3 :  a leaf (as of a pine) shaped like a needle

  4. 4 :  a pointer on a dial <The needle on her gas gauge read “empty.”>

  5. 5 :  a slender hollow instrument that has a sharp point and by which material is put into or taken from the body through the skin

needlelike \ˈnē-dəl-ˌlīk\ adjective

Headscratcher for needle

Do you need needles? If you add another “s” to needles, you'll find that needles are needless.



verb nee·dle

Definition of needle for Students


  1. :  1tease 1, taunt

Seen and Heard

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a smart aleck

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