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 Hellraiser fans on pins and needles for a trailer have finally gotten their wish. Jen Juneau, Peoplemag, 21 Sep. 2022 In rare cases, the virus can invade the nervous system and cause meningitis (swelling of the brain and spinal cord membranes), paresthesia (the feeling of pins and needles in the legs), or irreversible paralysis, usually on one side of the body. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 5 Aug. 2022 Some may experience paresthesia, or the sensation of pins and needles in the legs. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 21 July 2022 The now infamous condition long COVID presents as a wide range of symptoms—everything from persistent chest pains to rashes, pins and needles, and brain fog. Sasha Warren, Scientific American, 21 July 2022 Most of the time, the feet and hands burn and sting as if they were being stuck with pins and needles, and then slowly, usually over years, sensation dies. New York Times, 30 June 2022 These days, the economy seems to be on pins and needles. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 22 May 2022 That can include weakness, numbness or a sensation like pins and needles on one side of the body or face, trouble speaking, and slurred speech. Sara Lindberg, SELF, 22 Feb. 2022 The leaves were employed as an impenetrable thatch for dwellings, their hard fibers were used to produce strong cords, and the thorns were made into pins and needles. Janet Marinelli, Wired, 19 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of pins and needles

1813, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for pins and needles

Time Traveler

The first known use of pins and needles was in 1813

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Dictionary Entries Near pins and needles


pins and needles

pin seal

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Statistics for pins and needles

Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pins and needles.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for pins and needles

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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