hay·​stack | \ ˈhā-ˌstak How to pronounce haystack (audio) \

Definition of haystack

1 : a stack of hay
2 : a vertical standing wave in turbulent river waters

Examples of haystack in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The movie cuts to Christian being sewn into a bear carcass, tied to a haystack and ceremoniously burned alive inside a temple. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "'Midsommar' spoilers! Let's debate that insane, weirdly cathartic ending," 26 June 2019 Christie didn’t know what to make of Hayden Fry: tall, square-jawed, handsome, charismatic, country as a haystack. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Malcolm Christie is one of Hayden Fry’s greatest success stories — a success that goes beyond the gridiron," 25 Jan. 2020 An ideal drug-design process would allow scientists to rapidly and rationally design specific drugs that use the same language as our cells, instead of looking for a needle-in-a-haystack molecule. Scientific American, "The Power of Spheres," 25 Dec. 2019 The hay-in-a-haystack phenomenon is at work in one of the first objects that kids encounter in mathematics: the number line. Quanta Magazine, "Why Mathematicians Can’t Find the Hay in a Haystack," 17 Sep. 2018 Regardless of the outcome, in the coming weeks, months, and years, astronomers will have their telescopes trained on the Orion constellation, hoping to catch site of a cosmic needle in a haystack. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "As Betelgeuse Dims, Scientists Wonder If We're Watching a Star Die," 30 Dec. 2019 What was specifically causing these lung injuries was a mystery: Because vaping cartridges vary so widely, pinpointing a specific dangerous ingredient was like finding a needle in a haystack for public health officials. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "The CDC blames a THC vaping ingredient for the outbreak of acute lung illness," 21 Dec. 2019 His shows have become bonafide podcasting phenomena, needles in the ever-growing haystack of wrestling podcasts that amass millions of downloads per month. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Here are Alabama’s Entertainers of the Year," 31 Dec. 2019 Instead of looking for the needle of good news in the haystack, investors may be better off wondering how meaningful these improvements really are. Washington Post, "Jaguar Land Rover Just Dangled Some Shiny Keys," 21 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'haystack.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of haystack

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for haystack

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for haystack

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Haystack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haystack. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for haystack


How to pronounce haystack (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of haystack

: a large pile of hay


hay·​stack | \ ˈhā-ˌstak How to pronounce haystack (audio) \

Kids Definition of haystack

: a large pile of hay stored outdoors

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More from Merriam-Webster on haystack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with haystack

Spanish Central: Translation of haystack

Nglish: Translation of haystack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of haystack for Arabic Speakers

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