needle: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (nēd'l), [key]
— n., v., -dled, -dling.
  1. a small, slender, rodlike instrument, usually of polished steel, with a sharp point at one end and an eye or hole for thread at the other, for passing thread through cloth to make stitches in sewing.
  2. any of various similar, usually considerably larger, implements for making stitches, as one for use in knitting or one hooked at the end for use in crocheting.
    1. a slender, pointed, steel instrument used in sewing or piercing tissues, as in suturing.
    2. Seehypodermic needle.
  3. an injection of a drug or medicine; shot.
  4. any of various objects resembling or suggesting a needle.
  5. the tapered stylus at the end of a phonographic tonearm, used to transmit vibrations from a record groove to a transducer for conversion to audible signals.
  6. See
  7. a pointed instrument, or stylus, used in engraving, etching, or the like.
  8. a needle-shaped leaf, as of a conifer: a pine needle.
  9. a slender sharp spicule.
  10. a needlelike crystal.
  11. a sharp-pointed mass or pinnacle of rock.
  12. an obelisk or a tapering, four-sided shaft of stone: Cleopatra's Needle.
  13. Also calleda short beam passed through a wall as a temporary support.
  14. taking drugs by injection, esp. habitually.
  15. irritating abuse; teasing; heckling (used esp. in the phrases give someone the needle and get the needle).
  1. to sew or pierce with or as if with a needle: to needle a patch on a sleeve.
  2. We needled her into going with us.
    1. to prod or goad (someone) to a specified action:We needled her into going with us.
    2. to tease:We needled him about his big ears.
  3. to add alcohol or ether to (a beverage): to needle beer.
  1. to form needles in crystallization.
  2. to work with a needle.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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