from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. (noun) A slender form of drill used for boring or drilling a blast-hole in rock.
- n. (noun) A priming-wire or blasting-needle.
- n. (noun) The name given near Mont Blanc to the sharper peaks or clusters of needle-like rock-masses, ordinarily seen wherever the slaty crystalline rocks occur, forming a more or less considerable part of a mountain range, but most strikingly near Chamonix. Hence applied, though rarely, to similar sharply pointed peaks elsewhere.
But the Matterhorn, after all, is not so fine a thing as the aiguille Dru, nor as any one of the aiguilles of Chamouni: for one thing, it is all of secondary rock in horizontal beds, quite rotten and shaly; but there are other causes of difference in impressiveness which I am endeavouring to analyze, but find considerable embarrassment in doing so.
As the sun was setting I walked out to the brow of the aiguille, which from below seemed a point, but was in reality only the perpendicular face of a mass of mountain which in the other direction sloped away towards Switzerland for miles.
‘Aiguille’ comes from the French word for ‘needle.’