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 ?
Along with the investment, NAB Chief Technology Officer Sam Matheny will join the Stanford-based Haystack TV as an advisor.
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.
Maintaining licenses for disparate backup systems or file-level catalog data can not only be an expensive proposition, but when a discovery request is made, producing responsive data from hundreds or thousands of tapes is equal to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
ANAHEIM - In pancake-flat Kansas, it's reasonable to consider many things a mountain: a mole-hill, a haystack and, today, Nick Collison.
For sea urchin sperm, locating the right egg to fertilize appears harder than finding a needle in a haystack.
Registered Traveler will allow TSA and law enforcement to search a smaller haystack, while moving people more efficiently through our airports.
It's a needle in a haystack in terms of what you want, especially the way we play.
What this does is computerize the database so that during a criminal investigation you can find a needle in a haystack,'' Ricker said.
Competing search solutions were good at reducing the size of the haystack, but not necessarily at locating the needle," said Douglas W.
The pair had to uncover keys hidden in a haystack to open boxes containing money so they could buy food.
Customs agent says, finding it would be like picking a needle from a haystack.
The neighbour's dog, Dana, which is suckling pups, carefully pulled the naked child into a haystack.
Finding a millisecond pulsar -- a rapidly spinning neutron star -- is about as difficult as locating the proverbial needle in a celestial haystack.
The type of studies in question, called microarray studies, generates a veritable haystack of data.
In a jungle challenge earlier, he and Pussycat Doll Ashley had to uncover keys hidden in a haystack to open boxes containing money so they could buy food.