Definition of millstone in English:



  • 1Each of two circular stones used for grinding corn.

    • ‘The pent-up waters, controlled by a sluice gate, were directed past the mill wheel, driving the wooden gears, shafts and millstones.’
    • ‘Half a dozen different Guilds were vying to be the first to get the new machinery to drive the bellows in the smelters, looms and wheels in the textile mills, water pumps, millstones.’
    • ‘Then they are ground through three pairs of water-powered millstones, becoming successively finer with each set of stones, and packed into airtight containers for distribution.’
    • ‘The display will include ancient millstones, Victorian and Albert period clothing, and the Michael Cowan working miniatures.’
    • ‘He explained that they were the sites where millstones were cut from the outcrops of Millstone Grit.’
    • ‘The manorial village was never completely self-sufficient because salt, millstones or perhaps metalware were not available and had to be obtained from outside sources.’
    • ‘The fireplace in the drawing-room was built using stone reclaimed from the steading, with the base formed from the original millstones.’
    • ‘Stoneground - this flour is made by crushing grain between 2 grooved millstones, rather than by hi technology.’
    • ‘As late as the 1780s, the milling process - sieving, cleaning, winnowing, and grinding the grain by millstones - involved strenuous human labor.’
    • ‘Something which caught me a little by surprise is a pile of millstones; each about 1.5m across and 15 cm thick.’
    • ‘By 1984, all the internal machinery had been rebuilt and tested, the millstones were balanced and the leat was ready to carry water to the mill.’
    • ‘Troughs and millstones make garden accessories, too.’
    • ‘For inside the mill, the shelling stones began to turn, the riddles (large-meshed sieves) rhythmically shook and the millstones ground round and round.’
    • ‘After opening the door, the huge millstone comes into view.’
    • ‘The huge millstone they brought with them is there in the Alamo museum.’
    • ‘We slipped between lines of trees or bamboo groves, past millstones pivoted on logs, and wallowing buffalo.’
    • ‘The old mill at Cadamstown was shown which is now an extremely attractive feature with planted up banks of the adjacent river and many old millstones and ancient tools on display.’
    • ‘On a more secular level, stone was used for a number of purposes, the most widespread being the manufacture of quern stones and millstones in water-mills.’
    • ‘Then they blinded Samson and he was bound to a millstone as a slave.’
    • ‘The location of the Mill had been chosen, as it had ready access to wheat as well as a source of power to drive the millstones and good communications with the outside world for the export of the flour.’
    1. 1.1 A heavy and inescapable responsibility:
      ‘she threatened to become a millstone round his neck’
      • ‘And of course one of the last times a political leader ventured boldly into the territory, his words became a millstone around his neck.’
      • ‘The obstacles that he found in his path did not prove to be millstones around his neck, but rather milestones on his road to fame.’
      • ‘Can anyone tell me if, when and how the millstone of debt is to be removed from the club's neck?’
      • ‘His millstone is that he seems destined to explain until the end of his days who he really is: neither posh nor a snob.’
      • ‘But the fact is some manses can be a real millstone, because you have got to pay for heating and lighting out of your own stipend.’
      • ‘Now there are fears that the building near Victoria Station could become a financial millstone for the city.’
      • ‘By now, surely, having to explain and defend transvestism must be something of a millstone.’
      • ‘This external debt has turned into a millstone because it has to be repaid.’
      • ‘How well they cope will determine whether one of cricket's heaviest millstones can finally be removed.’
      • ‘I'd like to see computers that felt like ornaments in our homes rather than millstones round our necks.’
      • ‘The house is lovely but it's a millstone round your neck if you can't make enough money to redecorate it.’
      • ‘I felt like a millstone round her neck, her own health problems taking a back seat to my own.’
      • ‘Sadly, it is often the case that students emerge under a mountain of sour loans, which prove a millstone for much of their early working life.’
      • ‘He regarded Holmes as a millstone round his neck, preferring to research and write historical fiction.’
      • ‘But now these have become millstones round the necks of the companies running them because of their large exposure to equities.’
      • ‘That is a huge millstone around students' necks.’
      • ‘I think that what one could say is that that reference has become a bit of a millstone around the neck of this Parliament.’
      • ‘Life is too short and stressful as it is to keep an ever-increasing collection of millstones around our necks.’
      • ‘You tend to get weighed down by historical millstones and the burdens of guilt that come with, as one of our other young novelists notes, ‘not wanting to write about cottages and sheep’.’
      • ‘His target of eight golds was arguably a millstone around his neck.’
      burden, unwanted responsibility, encumbrance, dead weight, load, onus
      duty, obligation, liability, trouble, problem, misfortune, affliction
      cross to bear, albatross
      View synonyms