needle

noun
nee·​dle | \ ˈnē-dᵊl How to pronounce needle (audio) \

Definition of needle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a small slender usually steel instrument that has an eye for thread or surgical sutures at one end and that is used for sewing
b : any of various devices for carrying thread and making stitches (as in crocheting or knitting)
c(1) : a slender hollow instrument for introducing material into or removing material from the body (as by insertion under the skin)
(2) : an extremely thin solid usually stainless steel instrument used in acupuncture and inserted through the skin
d : any of various slender hollow devices used to introduce matter (such as air) into or remove it from an object (such as a ball)
2a : a slender bar of magnetized steel that when allowed to turn freely (as in a compass) indicates the direction of a magnetic field (as of the earth)
b : a slender usually sharp-pointed indicator on a dial
3a : a slender pointed object resembling a needle: such as
(1) : a pointed crystal
(2) : a sharp rock
(3) : obelisk
b : a needle-shaped leaf (as of a conifer)
c : a slender rod (as of jewel or steel) with a rounded tip used in a phonograph to transmit vibrations from a record : stylus
d : a slender pointed rod controlling a fine inlet or outlet (as in a valve)
4 : a teasing or gibing remark

needle

verb
needled; needling\ ˈnēd-​liŋ How to pronounce needle (audio) , ˈnē-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of needle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to sew or pierce with or as if with a needle
2a : tease, torment
b : to incite to action by repeated gibes needled the boy into a fight

Illustration of needle

Illustration of needle

Noun

needle 1: 1 suture, 2 sewing, 3 knitting

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from needle

Noun

needlelike \ ˈnē-​dᵊl-​ˌ(l)īk How to pronounce needle (audio) \ adjective

Verb

needler \ ˈnēd-​lər How to pronounce needle (audio) , ˈnē-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for needle

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of needle in a Sentence

Noun I need a needle and thread to sew the button on your shirt. The needle on the scale points to 9 grams. The compass needle points north. Verb His classmates needled him about his new haircut. we needled him mercilessly for thinking that he had any chance of being the prom date for the school's most popular girl
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The 17-year-old boy then pulled out his phone and recorded a selfie video of the needle going into his left arm. Alice Yin, chicagotribune.com, 29 May 2021 Tulsa’s Republican mayor, G.T. Bynum, threads the needle as many politicians have done when the subject of reparations for the massacre is raised. New York Times, 25 May 2021 Retractable Technologies initially received an $83.8 million delivery order for syringes and then later was awarded a $53.6 million contract under the Defense Production Act to expand its needle-making capacity. Alexandra Skores, Dallas News, 25 May 2021 No more searching for that elusive scissors or needle-nosed pliers. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 May 2021 The sailor removed the green-and-brown camouflage shirt of his uniform and smiled a little as the needle quickly jabbed his left bicep at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic held recently at Naval Station Great Lakes. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, 19 May 2021 So what are some of the non-tech companies that have been able to move-the-needle with their AI efforts? Tom Taulli, Forbes, 15 May 2021 Elissar looked away when pharmacist Denise Kipp put the needle into her left arm. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, 14 May 2021 In the quest to get rid of fine lines and plumping lax skin, going under the needle — whether for neuromodulator or filler — reigns supreme. Sophie Wirt, Allure, 12 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb DeChambeau recently miffed Brooks Koepka during his post-match interview at the PGA Championship – a clip that became a viral meme and which Tom Brady has already used to needle his newest rivals. Zack Jones, Forbes, 2 June 2021 The maps also show efforts to try to needle through once Republican suburban areas to maintain recent Democratic gains. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, 22 May 2021 Even these people might be wrestled into acquiescence this year if enough of your co-workers needle them. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 10 May 2021 But Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ president, has largely avoided confronting China over the issue, preferring instead to needle America, an ally but also a former colonial occupier of the Philippines. The Economist, 10 Apr. 2021 Hours later, White House press secretary Jen Psaki went out of her way to needle the governor, pivoting from a question from Fox News about the lack of testing at the border while air travelers arriving from overseas must show a negative test. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 11 Mar. 2021 But that has not stopped Fox News from trying to needle the late night establishment. Stephen Battaglio Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2021 For communities of color, there are other factors to consider, Manning said, including access to vaccination clinics, needle phobias and literacy. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 30 Mar. 2021 President Biden continued to needle his Russian counterpart on Friday, not ruling out Vladimir Putin’s challenge to a debate and promising to slap new sanctions on Moscow. John T. Bennett, Washington Examiner, 19 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'needle.' 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 needle

Noun

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

Verb

circa 1715, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for needle

Noun

Middle English nedle, from Old English nǣdl; akin to Old High German nādala needle, nājan to sew, Latin nēre to spin, Greek nēn

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Time Traveler for needle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for needle

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Needle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/needle. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for needle

needle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of needle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small, very thin object that is used in sewing and that has a sharp point at one end and a hole for thread
: one of the two long, thin sticks that are used in knitting and that are pointed at one end
: a very thin, pointed steel tube that is pushed through the skin so that something (such as a drug) can be put into your body or so that blood or other fluids can be taken from it

needle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of needle (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : to criticize and laugh at (someone) in either a friendly or an unkind way

needle

noun
nee·​dle | \ ˈnē-dᵊl How to pronounce needle (audio) \

Kids Definition of needle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small slender pointed usually steel tool used for sewing
2 : a slender pointed piece of metal or plastic (used for knitting)
3 : a leaf (as of a pine) shaped like a needle
4 : a pointer on a dial The needle on her gas gauge read "empty."
5 : a slender hollow instrument that has a sharp point and by which material is put into or taken from the body through the skin

Other Words from needle

needlelike \ ˈnē-​dᵊl-​ˌlīk \ adjective

needle

verb
needled; needling

Kids Definition of needle (Entry 2 of 2)

needle

noun
nee·​dle | \ ˈnēd-ᵊl How to pronounce needle (audio) \

Medical Definition of needle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small slender usually steel instrument designed to carry sutures when sewing tissues in surgery
2 : a slender hollow instrument for introducing material into or removing material from the body parenterally
needled; needling\ ˈnēd-​liŋ, -​ᵊl-​iŋ How to pronounce needle (audio) \

Medical Definition of needle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to puncture, operate on, or inject with a needle needling a cataract

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