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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Dodgers’ success will depend on their ability to keep their legs beneath them and their wits about them for a nine-inning referendum on their ability to manage baseball’s biggest millstone. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Dodgers have all the NLDS Game 5 advantages — and all the pressure," 8 Oct. 2019 Things that the administration failed to sell before the drive ran out of steam — such as Air India Ltd. — are a millstone around the Indian taxpayer’s neck even today. Andy Mukherjee | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Modi Finds His Inner Thatcher," 23 Nov. 2019 Benghazi became the millstone in Rice’s stellar career. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "Susan Rice has spent her career fighting off detractors: ‘I inadvertently intimidate some people, especially certain men’," 7 Oct. 2019 Once seen as necessary political grease, it is now recognised as a millstone. The Economist, "The war against corruption in Latin America is in trouble," 26 Sep. 2019 This is the millstone of the Electoral College, but there is a way to shed it: Choose the map that looks most winnable and is closest to 270 electoral votes and go for broke. Time, "The High-Risk Strategy That Could Hand Democrats the White House," 17 Sep. 2019 Moving upward by jamming your fists, feet and knees (and sometimes even your head) into the vertical cracks in sandpaperlike millstone grit. Ben Santer, Scientific American, "Rock Climbing, Climate Science and Leadership," 16 Sep. 2019 By the time Hosmer and Green headed to the clubhouse, Lauer was back on the dugout bench, watching the bulk of another game at the venue that is a millstone around his neck. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lauer falls on Rockies ground again, Padres fall just short again," 14 Sep. 2019 Liverpool lifted a huge millstone of pressure from their necks with their Champions League success., "Simon Mignolet: Why Liverpool Seriously Need to Upgrade Their Number Two Keeper," 28 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of millstone

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

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Time Traveler for millstone

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for millstone

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Millstone.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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How to pronounce millstone (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of millstone

: either one of two large, flat, round stones that are used for grinding grain in a mill
: a problem or responsibility that does not go away and that makes it difficult or impossible to do or achieve something


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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More from Merriam-Webster on millstone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with millstone

Spanish Central: Translation of millstone

Nglish: Translation of millstone for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about millstone

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