needle

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camel through the eye of a needle

Used as part of a comparison to indicate that something is impossible or extremely difficult to accomplish. Taken from the passage in the Bible (Luke 18:25), "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." You'd have an easier time getting a camel through the eye of a needle than getting them to agree on the issue.
See also: camel, eye, needle, of, through

darning needle

A regional term for a dragonfly. Primarily heard in US. I hate going to the lake, what with all those darning needles and other bugs constantly flying into me!
See also: darn, needle

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

put a rope to the eye of a needle

To attempt a futile task. A: "I can't believe he thinks that he'll get into law school with his poor grades!" B: "I know, he's really putting a rope to the eye of a needle with that plan."
See also: eye, needle, of, put, rope

thread the needle

1. To insert thread through the eye of a needle. You'll need to thread the needle before you can start sewing.
2. To pass something through a narrow space between two things. The quarterback really threaded the needle with that pass between two defenders.
3. A children's game in which the participants stand in a line and hold hands. The person at the end of the line then ducks under the others' linked arms, pulling the rest of the line along with him or her. Come on, we're playing thread the needle!
See also: needle, thread

be like looking for a needle in a haystack

To be similar to searching for something that is very difficult to locate, especially something small and/or something hidden among similar things. Trying to find my contact lens on the floor was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

be on pins and needles

To be anxious and tense. The phrase likely derived from the tingling sensation (called "pins and needles") that occurs when blood flow returns to a numb limb. A: "Why is Carrie pacing?" B: "She's waiting for the doctor to call with her test results, so she's been on pins and needles all day."
See also: and, needle, on, pin

have pins and needles

To experience that tingling sensation (called "pins and needles") that occurs when blood flow returns to a numb limb. Ugh, wait a second, I can't get up just yet—I have pins and needles in my foot from sitting like this for so long.
See also: and, have, needle, pin

on pins and needles

Anxious and tense. (Likely an allusion to the tingling sensation the occurs when blood flow returns to a numb limb.) A: "Why is Carrie pacing?" B: "She's waiting for the doctor to call with her test results, so she's been on pins and needles all day."
See also: and, needle, on, pin

like looking for a needle in a haystack

Fig. engaged in a hopeless search. Trying to find a white glove in the snow is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I tried to find my lost contact lens on the beach, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

needle someone about someone or something

to pester or bother someone about someone or something. Please don't needle me about Jane. Stop needling me about eating out.
See also: needle

on pins and needles

Fig. anxious; in suspense. I've been on pins and needles all day, waiting for you to call with the news. We were on pins and needles until we heard that your plane had landed safely.
See also: and, needle, on, pin

pins and needles

Fig. a tingling feeling in some part of one's body, especially the arms and legs. (See also on pins and needles.) I've got pins and needles in my legs. Mary gets pins and needles if she crosses her arms for long.
See also: and, needle, pin

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

on pins and needles

Nervously anxious, as in He was on pins and needles, waiting for the test results. The graphic expression pins and needles for the tingling sensation experienced in recovering from numbness was transferred to a feeling of marked mental uneasiness about 1800.
See also: and, needle, on, pin

like looking for a needle in a haystack

If trying to find something is like looking for a needle in a haystack, it is extremely difficult or impossible. She was told by police that searching for the dog would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Note: This expression is very variable. It soon became clear that we were looking for a needle in a haystack. It's very much a needle in a haystack situation that we're dealing with.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

on pins and needles

mainly AMERICAN
If you are on pins and needles, you are very anxious or nervous about something that is going to happen. We were approaching Cape Horn, where we had almost lost our lives two years ago, so I was definitely on pins and needles. Note: You can also say that someone is sitting on pins and needles. I think we all have been sitting on pins and needles and anxious for something to happen.
See also: and, needle, on, pin

the eye of a needle

a very small opening or space (used to emphasize the impossibility of a projected endeavour).
This phrase comes from Matthew 19:24: ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God’.
2001 FourFourTwo Able to thread a pass through the eye of a needle, he can play in the centre or on either flank.
See also: eye, needle, of

get the (dead) needle

become very annoyed. British informal
See also: get, needle

a needle in a haystack

something that is almost impossible to find because it is concealed by so many other similar things.
2002 New York Times Magazine Terrorists don't fit a consistent profile: you're looking for a needle in a haystack, but the color and shape of the needle keep changing.
See also: haystack, needle

on pins and needles

in an agitated state of suspense.
Pins and needles is the pricking or tingling sensation in a limb recovering from numbness.
See also: and, needle, on, pin

sharp as a needle

extremely quick-witted.
A North American variant is sharp as a tack .
See also: needle, sharp

like looking for/trying to find a ˌneedle in a ˈhaystack

very difficult to find: How can we ever find the quotation if you don’t even know what part of the book it comes from? It’ll be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

have ˌpins and ˈneedles

have an uncomfortable feeling in your arm or leg when it has been in the same position for a long time: The best thing to do when you have pins and needles in your leg is to stamp your foot on the floor several times.
See also: and, have, needle, pin

needle

tv. to annoy someone. Tom is always needling Frank.

needle candy

n. narcotics that are taken by injection. (see also nose (candy).) Max likes needle candy best of all.
See also: candy, needle

on the needle

mod. addicted to injectable drugs. (Drugs.) My sister’s on the needle, and I want to help her.
See also: needle, on

on pins and needles

In a state of tense anticipation.
See also: and, needle, on, pin

vaccinated with a Victrola needle

Someone who chatters incessantly. Victrola, a division of R.C.A. Victor, was a brand of phonograph players. Since phono records were played with needles that picked up the sound vibrations in the record's grooves, to be vaccinated with a Victrola needle, as the joke implied, was to be inoculated with the gift of nonstop gab.
See also: needle, vaccinate
References in periodicals archive ?
Vertical needling with four boards produces the highest length increase value recorded and confirms why preneedling would never be undertaken in this way.
However, four boards with elliptical needling provides assistance to passage on both sides of the web and reduces stretch below that of a single board machine, giving the lowest value recorded during this experiment.
Weight measurements were carried out at 10 positions across the fabric width after needling and a profile plotted (Figure 7) shows such results for the 200 and 400 g/[m.
To isolate and illustrate the influence of elliptical needling on CD profile in a separate experiment no crosslapper profiling was employed.
When elliptical needling is used, CV values are reduced as the profiles show less edge effects.
2) the longer the potential needle dwell time, the more significant the improvements due to elliptical needling