noun nee·dle \ˈnē-dəl\

: 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

Full Definition of NEEDLE

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)
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
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)
:  a teasing or gibing remark
nee·dle·like \ˈnē-dəl-ˌ(l)īk\ adjective

Examples of NEEDLE

  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 ̄dl; akin to Old High German nādala needle, nājan to sew, Latin nēre to spin, Greek nēn
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to NEEDLE

Other Handicraft Terms

biscuit, darn, tambour, wrought

Rhymes with NEEDLE



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

nee·dlednee·dling \ˈnēd-liŋ, ˈnē-dəl-iŋ\

Full Definition of NEEDLE

transitive verb
:  to sew or pierce with or as if with a needle
a :  tease, torment
b :  to incite to action by repeated gibes <needled the boy into a fight>
intransitive verb
:  sew, embroider
nee·dler \ˈnēd-lər, ˈnē-dəl-ər\ noun

Examples of NEEDLE

  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>

First Known Use of NEEDLE

circa 1715

Rhymes with NEEDLE


Next Word in the Dictionary: needle and threadPrevious Word in the Dictionary: needful (noun)All Words Near: needle
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