on pins and needles


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Related to on pins and needles: feel like a million
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on pins and needles

Anxious and tense. (Likely an allusion to the tingling sensation 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on pins and needles

In a state of tense anticipation.
See also: and, needle, on, pin
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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