American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A long, large-eyed needle used in darning.
- n. Northeastern, Upper Northern, & Western U.S. See dragonfly. See Regional Note at dragonfly.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A long needle with a large eye, used in darning.
- n. Used other than as an idiom: A needle used for darning.
- n. A large needle used for darning.
- n. A damselfly, or a dragonfly that resembles one.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. (Zoöl.) Any species of dragon fly, having a long, cylindrical body, resembling a needle. These flies are harmless and without stings. [In this sense, usually written with a hyphen.] Called also
- n. slender-bodied non-stinging insect having iridescent wings that are outspread at rest; adults and nymphs feed on mosquitoes etc.
- n. a long needle with an eye large enough for heavy darning or embroidery thread
“She was so ashamed of herself she felt like jabbing the big darning needle into her leg, but she was too happy to contemplate self-infliction of pain for very long, and anyway, it was just an extravagant way of expressing her remorse.”
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