hay·​stack ˈhā-ˌstak How to pronounce haystack (audio)
: a stack of hay
: a vertical standing wave in turbulent river waters

Examples of haystack in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Finding the perfect pair of jeans can often feel like searching for a needle in a proverbial denim haystack. Jamie Allison Sanders, Peoplemag, 18 Feb. 2024 The challenge before philanthropies is to identify and support those needles in haystacks. Mark Malloch-Brown, Foreign Affairs, 15 Jan. 2024 But Baudelaire’s is a purely literary project, and the painters, including even Manet, his supposed model, would actually return again and again to single subjects: a nude in the bath, a plate of asparagus, a haystack. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 Here's a five-step strategy upper management can deploy to ensure that the quest for purpose isn’t akin to finding a needle in a corporate haystack. Ira Wolfe, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Today, that haystack vigil is marked by a Berkshires-quarried marble obelisk topped by an orb, a symbol of the global missionary vision of the young Puritan men who huddled there — for whom neither New England nor the New World were sufficient. Andrew Doran, National Review, 12 Nov. 2023 Locating specific objects across such a wide swath of seafloor has been likened to searching for the smallest needles in the largest haystack. Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2024 Finding those needles in the haystack starts off with actually making them, which is all the more reason to work quickly and through the night. Gregory Barber, WIRED, 29 Nov. 2023 In a second step, the scientists also dated the quartz needles found amid the vast haystack of White Sands’ gypsum dunes. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'haystack.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of haystack was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near haystack

Cite this Entry

“Haystack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haystack. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


hay·​stack -ˌstak How to pronounce haystack (audio)
: a stack of hay

More from Merriam-Webster on haystack

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