millstone

noun

mill·​stone ˈmil-ˌstōn How to pronounce millstone (audio)
1
: either of two circular stones used for grinding something (such as grain)
2
a
: 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 But over time, the weight of his masterpiece’s brilliance and his celebrity as a persona writer became a millstone — that and the years of alcohol and drug use that wreaked havoc on his body. Billy Witz Sinna Nasseri, New York Times, 10 Feb. 2024 Weighing less than a pound and about the size of a standard book, these binoculars can easily slip into your day bag or glove compartment and won’t be a millstone around your neck. Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, 17 Jan. 2024 Becker shows that proponents of Brexit talked surprisingly little about the past and tried, in fact, to hang nostalgia’s toxic millstone around the necks of Remainers, accusing them of a softhearted attachment to the now sclerotic dream of European unity. Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 In the short span of time since, however, the Fed hiked rates more than five percentage points from virtually zero, meaning the debt incurred in the deal has become a millstone around Zaslav’s neck. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2023 He is blinded by the Philistines and harnessed to a huge millstone, forced to drag himself around and around in circles, always moving but unable to go anywhere. Fintan O’Toole, The New York Review of Books, 10 Oct. 2023 The film moves in loose accordance with the timeline of Woolf’s novel, and the Orlandos are costumed in millstone collars. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Oct. 2023 The millstone is inflation, which has tempered sharply from its peak last year but remains above the norm. Reid J. Epstein, New York Times, 29 June 2023 Its debt pile of $8 billion, used to build up a portfolio of more than 2,000 properties, has turned into a millstone following the end of the cheap money era. Michael Msika, Bloomberg.com, 3 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'millstone.' 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

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near millstone

Cite this Entry

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

Kids Definition

millstone

noun
mill·​stone -ˌstōn How to pronounce millstone (audio)
1
: either of two circular stones used for grinding a substance (as grain)
2
: a heavy burden
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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