1

needle

play
noun nee·dle \ ˈnē-dᵊl \

Definition of needle

1 a :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)
2 a :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
3 a :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

needlelike

play \ˈnē-dᵊl-ˌ(l)īk\ adjective

Examples of needle in a Sentence

  1. I need a needle and thread to sew the button on your shirt.

  2. The needle on the scale points to 9 grams.

  3. The compass needle points north.

Recent Examples of needle from the Web

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.

Illustration of needle

Origin and Etymology of needle

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

needle Synonyms

Synonyms
hype [slang], hypodermic, hypodermic needle, hypodermic syringe, syringe
Related Words
dial, face, gauge (also gage)

Other Handicraft Terms


2

needle

verb

Definition of needle

needled; needling play \ˈnēd-liŋ, ˈnē-dᵊl-iŋ\
transitive verb
1 :to sew or pierce with or as if with a needle
2 a :tease, torment
b :to incite to action by repeated gibes
  • needled the boy into a fight
intransitive verb

needler

play \ˈnēd-lər, ˈnē-dᵊl-ər\ noun

Examples of needle in a Sentence

  1. His classmates needled him about his new haircut.

  2. we needled him mercilessly for thinking that he had any chance of being the prom date for the school's most popular girl

Recent Examples of needle from the Web

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.

First Known Use of needle

circa 1715



NEEDLE Defined for English Language Learners

needle

play
noun

Definition of needle for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of needle for English Language Learners

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


NEEDLE Defined for Kids

1

needle

play
noun nee·dle \ ˈnē-dᵊl \

Definition of needle for Students

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

needlelike

\ˈnē-dᵊl-ˌlīk\ adjective

Headscratcher for needle

Do you need needles? If you add another “s” to needles, you'll find that needles are needless.


2

needle

verb

Definition of needle for Students

needled; needling

Medical Dictionary

1

needle

play
noun nee·dle \ ˈnēd-ᵊl \

medical Definition of needle

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

2

needle

transitive verb

medical Definition of needle

needled; needling play \ˈnēd-liŋ, -ᵊl-iŋ\
:to puncture, operate on, or inject with a needle
  • needling a cataract


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