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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. A small instrument of steel, sharply pointed at one end, with an eye to receive a thread, used in sewing.

In some needles(as for sewing machines) the eye is at the pointed end, but in ordinary needles it is at the blunt end.

2. See magnetic needle, under Magnetic.

3. A slender rod or wire used in knitting; a knitting needle; also, a hooked instrument which carries the thread or twine, and by means of which knots or loops are formed in the process of netting, knitting, or crocheting.

4. (Science: botany) One of the needle-shaped secondary leaves of pine trees. See pinus.

5. Any slender, pointed object, like a needle, as a pointed crystal, a sharp pinnacle of rock, an obelisk, etc. Dipping needle. See Dipping. Needle bar, the reciprocating bar to which the needle of a sewing machine is attached. Needle beam, to shoring, the horizontal cross timber which goes through the wall or a pier, and upon which the weight of the wall rests, when a building is shored up to allow of alterations in the lower part.

(Science: botany) Needle furze, the garfish.

Origin: OE. Nedle, AS. Ndl; akin to D. Neald, OS. Nadla, G. Nadel, OHG. Nadal, nadala, Icel. Nal, Sw. Nal, Dan. Naal, and also to G. Nahen to sew, OHG. Najan, L. Nere to 456 spin, Gr, and perh. To E. Snare: cf. Gael. & Ir. Snathad needle, Gael. Snath thread, G. Schnur string, cord.