Meaning of NEEDLE in English


I. nee ‧ dle 1 /ˈniːdl/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: nædl ]


a) a small thin piece of steel, with a point at one end and a hole in the other, used for sewing ⇨ pin :

a needle and thread

a tapestry needle

b) a ↑ knitting needle

2 . DRUGS a very thin, pointed steel tube at the end of a ↑ syringe , which is pushed into your skin to put a drug or medicine into your body or to take out blood:

She carried hypodermic needles and syringes in her bag.

Drug users are at risk when they share needles.

3 . POINTER a long thin piece of metal on a scientific instrument that moves backwards and forwards and points to numbers or directions:

a compass needle

4 . MEDICAL TREATMENT a long, very thin piece of metal used in ↑ acupuncture (=a kind of medical treatment originally used in China)

5 . LEAF a small needle-shaped leaf, especially from a ↑ pine tree:

pine needles

6 . RECORDS the very small, pointed part in a ↑ record player that touches the record in order to play it

7 . like looking for a needle in a haystack informal used to say that something is almost impossible to find:

Finding out which file you want can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

⇨ ↑ pins and needles

• • •


■ verbs

▪ thread a needle

Eleanor threaded the needle.

▪ use a needle

I don't think he even knows how to use a needle!

■ phrases

▪ a needle and thread

I got a needle and thread and sewed the button back on.

▪ the eye of a needle (=the hole at the top of the needle that the thread goes through)

This gadget helps you put the thread through the eye of the needle.

II. needle 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive] informal

to deliberately annoy someone by making unkind remarks or jokes about them SYN rib , tease :

I just said that to Charlie to needle him.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.