the eye of a needle

eye of the needle

1. Literally, the opening at end of a needle through which a thread is passed so it can be used for sewing. Would you mind getting this thread through the eye of the needle for me? My eyesight is so bad, I can't see where it's supposed to go.
2. By extension, an extremely narrow space. Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. There were so many people in the crowd, but we managed to make our way through the eye of the needle to get right in front of the stage. The player is remarkable for making eye-of-the-needle passes that slip between the defenders in front of their net.
See also: eye, needle, of

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
References in periodicals archive ?
55b), Rava demonstrates that dreams stem from a person's imagination, since "no one ever dreams of a golden palm-tree, nor of an elephant threaded through the eye of a needle.
org/library), discusses the deeper essence of what the enormous size of the elephant represents, and the conceptual significance of threading an elephant through the eye of a needle.
The collection includes a Statue of Liberty in the eye of a needle and a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe, half the size of a full-stop, carved out of a diamond.
If Jesus had said it would be easier for a gay guy to sashay through the eye of a needle than to get into heaven, we could understand why social conservatives become unhinged at the thought of gays having constitutional rights.
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.
Perhaps it is an exaggeration to describe it as a camel squeezing through the eye of a needle.