from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. As much thread as is put into a needle at one time

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. As much thread as is used in a needle at one time.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. As much thread as is put at once into a needle.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Tenenbaum jammed a needleful of atropine into his heart.

    Into the Story

  • Justin whimpered remotely as the needleful of steroids went into his arm, his eyes closed as if he were deep in a bad dream.

    Parasite Rex

  • Presently he said to the Gobbo, “I desire that thou sew me up my pocket;” and the tailor took a needleful of silk and sewed up his pocket which he. had torn purposely; whereupon Ibrahim gave him five dinars and returned to his lodging.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Modeste, determined to think Canalis sublime, sat motionless with amazement; the embroidery slipped from her fingers, which held it only by the needleful of thread.

    Modeste Mignon

  • I am glad I was not really much afraid of him — that, indeed, close in his presence, I felt no terror at all; for upon his demanding cord and gibbet to execute the sentence recently pronounced, I was able to furnish him with a needleful of embroidering thread with such accommodating civility as could not but allay some portion at least of his surplus irritation.


  • At a stroke this had laid waste the good spirits in which he had got up that morning; even if, for the moment, it had done no more than pull him up short, as one is pulled up by a knot in a needleful of pack-thread, or a dumb note on a keyboard.

    The Way Home

  • 'Yes, I did, but they'd already give her a needleful o' scag, and she were just totally monged out, selling her body, so I tried to grab her and run and they beat me up bad and that were the end of that ... '

    High Society

  • Jam-packed though they were, Robert squirmed and wriggled until he was able to reach into his pocket and produce the wherewithal to prepare a needleful of heroin, the tin foil, the cigarette lighter, the twist of dirty brown powder.

    High Society

  • "Sit down, my dear, I 'm glad to see you, but excuse me if I go on with my work, as I' m in a driving hurry to get these things done to-night," said the brisk little lady, with a smile and a nod, as she took a new needleful of thread, and ran up

    An Old-Fashioned Girl

  • You just take a needleful of that yellow worsted and start tracking across a couple of yards of red and pathless desert, and see where you come out.

    Then I'll Come Back to You


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  • I suppose you 're too young to remember John Ashby's grandmother? A good woman she was, and she had a dreadful time with her family. They never could keep the peace, and there was always as many as two of them who did n't speak with each other. It seems to come down from generation to generation like a—curse!" And Miss Debby spoke the last word as if she had meant it partly for her thread, which had again knotted and caught, and she snatched the offered scissors without a word, but said peaceably, after a minute or two, that the thread was n't what it used to be. The next needleful proved more successful, and the listener asked if the Ashbys were getting on comfortably at present.

    --Sarah Orne Jewett, 1884, Miss Debby's Neighbors

    January 28, 2010