mill·​stone | \ ˈmil-ˌstōn How to pronounce millstone (audio) \

Definition of millstone

1 : either of two circular stones used for grinding something (such as grain)
2a : something that grinds or crushes
b : a heavy burden

Examples of millstone in a Sentence

College loans can quickly become a millstone for students. The scandal has become a political millstone. The scandal has been a millstone around her neck.
Recent Examples on the Web Washington swing has been Hart’s touchstone, but never a millstone that kept him from mastering another approach. Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2022 Britons were taught—and many still believe—that slavery had never been a foundation of their country’s commercial prosperity but was a millstone that needed to be removed so capitalism could truly flourish. Howard W. French, The New York Review of Books, 10 Apr. 2021 The case brought by Talonya Adams remains a political millstone for Hobbs, who in 2015 was the state Senate Democratic leader and is now running for governor. Kaely Monahan, The Arizona Republic, 16 Dec. 2021 Yet those same high prices can be a political millstone. Xander Peters, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Dec. 2021 The overall student debt in the US has now built up to a staggering $1.57 trillion, acting as a financial millstone to an entire generation. Mike Swigunski, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2021 That deal proved a millstone that helped push Detroit off the rebuild cliff., 5 Nov. 2021 His American assets were suddenly a millstone around his neck. Casey Michel, Rolling Stone, 8 Oct. 2021 McAuliffe, a former political fundraiser and Democratic National Committee chairman, has his own presidential millstone in Biden’s sinking approval ratings. Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of millstone

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for millstone

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The first known use of millstone was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near millstone

mill spindle


millstone bridge

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Statistics for millstone

Last Updated

6 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Millstone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for millstone


mill·​stone | \ ˈmil-ˌstōn How to pronounce millstone (audio) \

Kids Definition of millstone

: either of two large circular stones used for grinding grain


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