needle in a haystack


Also found in: Wikipedia.

needle in a haystack

Something that is very difficult to locate. Trying to find my contact lens on the floor was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
See also: haystack, needle

needle in a haystack

An item that is very hard or impossible to locate, as in Looking for that screw in Dean's workshop amounts to looking for a needle in a haystack. Originating in the early 1500s, with meadow instead of haystack, this metaphor exists in many other languages as well.
See also: haystack, needle
References in classic literature ?
The wind was fair but fitful, and it was like looking for a needle in a haystack to raise that tiny boat out of the blue immensity.
But to hunt on a dark night for a boy in a sea of mud would be like hunting for a needle in a haystack, and he did not attempt it.
I came here, looking for a needle in a haystack, and I ain't found it.
SEARCH PARTY (15) No stars SEARCHING for a gag in this risible brom-com is like searching for a needle in a haystack only to discover, 90 minutes later, there is no needle.
It was impossible, akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
Alone To you who are lost today like a needle in a haystack, reading this poem alone.
When the police are looking for a needle in a haystack, giving them a larger haystack can't be the correct answer.
In the non-chalant solo, "A Needle in a Haystack," Astaire sings and dances with the insouciant grace that was his instant trademark, flipping his dressing gown to his manservant and lightly ascending a chair.
Locating information or identifying just the right worksheet or cell to input new data is like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
When you are looking for a needle in a haystack, is it necessary to keep building bigger haystacks?
He said the girl's mother told him she had been feeling that hunting for the rapist was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Finding a kimberlite is like finding a needle in a haystack says Janet Reid, former geologist with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.
We've located this needle in a haystack," says Vernick.
He added: 'It was like looking for a needle in a haystack but DNA evidence was the magnet to extract that needle from the depth of the haystack.
Many people assume they are a needle in a haystack, simply a face in the crowd.