pins and needles

plural noun

Definition of pins and needles

: a pricking tingling sensation in a limb growing numb or recovering from numbness
on pins and needles
: in a nervous or jumpy state of anticipation

Examples of pins and needles in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the first time, executives really were on pins and needles concerning the success of IT. Eric Spitznagel, Popular Mechanics, "‘Here We Go. The Chaos Is Starting’: An Oral History of Y2K," 27 Dec. 2019 Harry and Meghan introduced the newest royal to the public just two days after he was born, and before that, the world was on pins and needles waiting to see what on earth the royals would name their new addition. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Baby Archie Is Adorable in New Photos With Meghan Markle and Prince Harry," 25 Sep. 2019 The pins and needles inside the dressing room were so dense that Jason Zucker apologized to Boudreau on Saturday after invoking his name in a self-flagellating quote following last Thursday’s 4-0 loss at Montreal. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "John Shipley: Tired of the drama, Wild respond," 20 Oct. 2019 Game of Thrones fans are waiting on pins and needles for the battle between the living and the dead. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "This Game of Thrones Theory Suggests the Night King Isn't Going to Winterfell at All," 22 Apr. 2019 As the world waits on pins and needles for the arrival or Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first baby, here's something fun to hold us over: a new image of their temporary home, a farmhouse in Cotswold. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Prefer Cotswolds Farmhouse To Nottingham Cottage," 10 Jan. 2019 For example, someone may see flashing light or zigzag lines or feel pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg, Dr. Green says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "8 Myths People With Migraines Wish You’d Stop Believing," 23 Oct. 2018 As Uncle Bill lights the firework fuse and scurries away, everybody is on pins and needles until, suddenly and dramatically, the fuse goes out. Dave Barry, miamiherald, "Classic '98: All fired up for the Fourth," 30 June 2014 However, aura can also cause other sensory issues, like pins and needles, weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body, or hearing things that don’t exist, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Tell if Vestibular Migraines Are Why You Get Dizzy So Often," 12 July 2018

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

1813, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of pins and needles was in 1813

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Cite this Entry

“Pins and needles.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for pins and needles

pins and needles


English Language Learners Definition of pins and needles

: the unpleasant tingling feeling in a part of your body (such as your arm or leg) as it becomes numb or recovers from being numb

pins and needles

noun plural

Medical Definition of pins and needles

: a pricking tingling sensation in a limb growing numb or recovering from numbness

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