Definition of pinprick in English:



  • 1A prick caused by a pin.

    ‘for the blood to be poisoned it takes only a pinprick’
    • ‘This recurs in the bunch of bananas covered with pinpricks that, oxidised on contact with the air, form the black outline of a face.’
    • ‘But Anna believed the test, which uses the blood pinprick given to all babies, would have prevented Sonny becoming a financial burden on the health service.’
    • ‘The first needle is pushed in gently and I am aware of a slight pinprick.’
    • ‘The stimuli included mechanical pinpricks, electrical stimuli, contact heat, and injection of a low-pH solution.’
    • ‘He picks up a disposable pen and points to two tiny pinpricks.’
    • ‘It says: ‘The bubble didnae burst’ and so far, despite a couple of pinpricks, it is still intact.’
    • ‘The star can also feel a pinprick over most of his body and can distinguish between hot and cold, and sharp and dull sensations.’
    • ‘Does it cover the small pinpricks called ‘petechial haemorrhage’?’
    • ‘Each pinprick lasts barely three seconds, and is slightly uncomfortable rather than painful, especially on the forehead, where the skin is very thin.’
    • ‘A rash which starts off as tiny red or purple pinpricks and may develop into bruises which do not fade when pressed with a glass.’
    • ‘Other ballots are more baffling: those with pinpricks across the portion of the card that does not match any contest in the ballot book.’
    • ‘This process enables the donor to gift this precious platelet concentrate to a sick relative with just an hour of gazing absent-mindedly at the smiley blood drop and suffering little more than two pinpricks.’
    • ‘Stork notes that pinpricks show that Jan van Eyck's 1432 portrait of Cardinal Albergati was magnified mechanically, with a proportional compass.’
    • ‘The country's leaders are worried the sporadic suicide bombings could be relative pinpricks leading up to terrorism on a much larger scale.’
    • ‘It means patients can get an accurate reading on the day of their clinic appointment and, instead of having to take blood from a vein, patients only have to undergo a pinprick using the new machine.’
    • ‘Delicate folds, cuts and pinpricks, or lifts at the drawings' corners and the resulting shadows, are all experienced as major events.’
    • ‘He can feel about two-thirds of the normal sensation of being touched and half of the usual intensity of pinpricks.’
    • ‘Our selling point is that it requires only a tiny pinprick and it isn't as sore.’
    • ‘Brand names take the place of skin - Diane pinpricks a drugged syringe into the foil cover of her competitor Karen's single-serve Evian cup as if it were flesh.’
    • ‘She then pinpricks for 45 minutes, lulling most patients into such a state of relaxation that they are unaware of anything but the tiniest tingle.’
    1. 1.1A minor annoyance or irritation.
      ‘compared with the indignities he had so far endured, this was a mere pinprick’
      • ‘Our economy is so huge that the scenes of destruction, awesome as they are, are only a pinprick.’
      • ‘India cannot allow political pinpricks from its neighbours to come in the way of pursuing freer regional trade through unilateral action where necessary.’
      • ‘Harder than even the 4 inches of reinforced steel below it, it served to make Allied shells, even AP rounds, bounce off like pinpricks.’
      • ‘Last night a senior air force officer described the bombing of the sites as a minor operation, a pinprick raid which accomplished what it set out to achieve.’
      • ‘His condemnation of violence and wealth, of government repression and church hypocrisy, brought him administrative pinpricks and excommunication.’
      • ‘On Jupiter, it blows material clear out of the atmosphere but is nevertheless a mere pinprick to the giant planet.’
      • ‘And while Gammell's most recent find in India eases the pressure, it is a pinprick in terms of global needs.’
      • ‘It was a minor pinprick in his side that his plan had not succeeded.’
      • ‘These explorations are, however, mere pinpricks in the impervious hide of western culture.’
      • ‘The comment stung Winston's eyes with pinpricks of embarrassment, and he wanted to run until he couldn't see straight.’
      • ‘But the IRA attacks, of course, were pinpricks compared to the atrocities of 11 September 2001.’
      • ‘These tactics were often not much more than pinpricks; more serious troubles could be brought on by traceable sabotage.’
  • 2A very small dot or amount.

    ‘the stars were pinpricks of light’
    • ‘I loved to sit in the planetarium, just me beneath a million pinpricks of light.’
    • ‘We made love in the cheery, blinking lights, and I gave her a ring with a little pinprick of a diamond in it.’
    • ‘I smiled and waved back at them until they were mere pinpricks in the distance.’
    • ‘The iris of each eye was dotted with pinpricks of lights like stars, and the pupils were gray, like the moon.’
    • ‘I scream at the ceiling, its blinking pinpricks of light, to let me fall off that edge, falling wholly into that unfeeling darkness and letting me feel no more pain.’
    • ‘Deanna could make out the tiny red pinpricks of fighters and missiles swarming toward the two ships as they accelerated madly to attempt an escape.’
    • ‘It doesn't diminish the summit of breathtaking Ben Nevis that you can see the pinprick of a Safeway and McDonald's from the top.’
    • ‘‘Sure,’ not Amy shrugged and looked out the window at the grey clouds that smothered the bright pinpricks of light so far below.’
    • ‘Images are exposed directly onto light-sensitive paper through a tiny lens the size of a pinprick.’
    • ‘Their eyes focused on the other's until they were nothing more than pinpricks interrupted by the continuing flow of bodies passing through the widening space between them.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the whole Net vanishes, except for a few pinpricks of light, far, far away, imitating the stars on a cloudless, impossibly dark night.’
    • ‘Timon's eyes narrowed to pinpricks, and his face grew dark.’
    • ‘Really, New Zealand is a tiny pinprick of a place.’
    • ‘While the stars gave off small bright pinpricks of light, the moon had a soft and faint glowing aura.’
    • ‘Suddenly, in the black night sky, a pinprick of light is spotted off the nose of the plane.’
    • ‘The moonlight cast its effervescent glow over the beguiling gardens of the large castle; pinpricks of light illuminated the path that Callista knew so well.’
    • ‘Her eye lights, pinpricks when I arrived, where dimming rapidly.’
    • ‘They wander in a dark Machiavellian universe lit only by pinpricks of mercy to light their way.’
    • ‘His pupils were pinpricks, and the surrounding circlets of frost-blue hummed as if fed with raw, crackling sound.’
    spot, speck, fleck, speckle, point, pinpoint, pinprick, mark, dab
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