haystack

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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

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

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 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

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

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

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
In his evidence, he said that he got that wrong in his police statement, and Tiny and Haystacks were two different members of staff.
Heavyweight wrestlers Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks (aka Shirley Crabtree and Martin Ruane) were regularly watched by millions of Britons on Saturday afternoon television from 1976 to 1988 as they collided in the ring.
And a play coming to the Midlands next month brings back to life the story of the friendly rivalry between Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks.
Heavyweight wrestlers Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks stretched Spandex to breaking point, their bulging bellies colliding in the ring like two beached whales, watched by millions on Saturday afternoon television.
Rick Perry, knee high in haystacks, challenged President Obama on job creation.
Organizations have haystacks of unstructured content scattered across managed repositories and unmanaged file and collaboration systems.
As Jonathan Barnford, assistant commissioner at the Information Commissioner's Office, asked the London Telegraph, "When you are looking for a needle in a haystack, is it necessary to keep building bigger haystacks?
How many of us must have larked around on haystacks as children and disturbed neatly stacked bales in order to make snug little houses?
His treatment at the hands of 40-stone wrestler Giant Haystacks 20 years ago is still featured on It'll Be Alright on the Night.
All I can remember is somehow managing to squeeze between two haystacks and bouncing through a ploughed field before managing to get back on the road,'' he chortled.
It is believed the bomb - nicknamed Giant Haystacks by police - was to have been planted by an IRA gang determined to wreck any hopes of a pre- Christmas truce.
The first set of rapids was a cakewalk--just a chute that bottomed out in a couple of minor haystacks.
The greater the number of haystacks to search and the higher the complexity, the more productive time that is lost.
RING KING Late Giant Haystacks Surely if we want to see ludicrously coiffeured, exhibitionists, who dive and roll at the merest touch, feign injury and anguish as they take part in a corrupt, money-grabbing, selfaggrandising sport, what's wrong with the Premier League?
In his statement to police, the complainant said the care worker responsible for abusing him was nicknamed Tiny, also known as Haystacks, after the wrestler Giant Haystacks.