—n. 1. a small, slender, rodlike instrument, usually of polished steel, with a sharp point at one end and an eye or hole for thread at the other, for passing thread through cloth to make stitches in sewing.
2. any of various similar, usually considerably larger, implements for making stitches, as one for use in knitting or one hooked at the end for use in crocheting.
3. Med. a. a slender, pointed, steel instrument used in sewing or piercing tissues, as in suturing.
b. See hypodermic needle. 4. Informal.an injection of a drug or medicine; shot.
5. any of various objects resembling or suggesting a needle.
6. the tapered stylus at the end of a phonographic tonearm, used to transmit vibrations from a record groove to a transducer for conversion to audible signals.
7. Elect.See magnetic needle. 8. a pointed instrument, or stylus, used in engraving, etching, or the like.
9. Bot.a needle-shaped leaf, as of a conifer: a pine needle. 10. Zool.a slender sharp spicule.
11. Chem.,Mineral.a needlelike crystal.
12. a sharp-pointed mass or pinnacle of rock.
13. an obelisk or a tapering, four-sided shaft of stone: Cleopatra's Needle. 14. Also called nee'dle beam".Building Trades.a short beam passed through a wall as a temporary support.
15. on the needle,Slang.taking drugs by injection, esp. habitually.
16. the needle,Informal.irritating abuse; teasing; heckling (used esp. in the phrases give someone the needle and get the needle).
—v.t. 1. to sew or pierce with or as if with a needle: to needle a patch on a sleeve. 2. Informal. a. to prod or goad (someone) to a specified action: We needled her into going with us. b. to tease: We needled him about his big ears. 3. Slang.to add alcohol or ether to (a beverage): to needle beer.
—v.i. 1. to form needles in crystallization.
2. to work with a needle.