Definition of pins and needles in English:

pins and needles

plural noun

  • A tingling sensation in a limb recovering from numbness.

    • ‘‘They are experiencing nagging pain spreading across their backs and legs, numb fingers and recurring pins and needles,’ he says.’
    • ‘Nigel and Sharron said they became concerned for Emma in February last year when she began suffering from constant pins and needles down one side of her body.’
    • ‘He is very weak, suffers from pins and needles, and uses a wheelchair to get around.’
    • ‘For eight months she had experienced pins and needles down her right side.’
    • ‘She climbed on his back and lay there, felt the surface beneath start to prick like pins and needles in the rising warmth.’
    • ‘She complained of pain in the right shoulder and upper right arm, numbness, swelling and pins and needles in the upper right arm, pounding headache, dizziness, insomnia, weight gain.’
    • ‘Today, I've got pins and needles in my right hand.’
    • ‘Both her legs were tingling with pins and needles.’
    • ‘It affects the muscles used to move (voluntary muscles), but not the nerves dealing with sensation, so there is no numbness or pins and needles.’
    • ‘There was a tingling in my limbs like pins and needles that grew more and more intense, like aching like real needles, then like fire under my skin, then something beyond burning.’
    • ‘I found it to be a sensation not unlike pins and needles which pulses in the hand, not painful but not pleasant either.’
    • ‘If in addition to headaches you have muscle cramps in your legs, difficulty sleeping, or pins and needles in your hands and feet, your diet may be deficient.’
    • ‘The 47-year-old father-of-two said he suffered several attacks a day when his fingers turned white, followed by pins and needles.’
    • ‘Station officer Graham Davies said: ‘He was complaining about pins and needles in his legs.’’
    • ‘Savannah started to feel pins and needles in her back and her right arm turned blue a week after the accident.’
    • ‘These symptoms consist mainly of tingling, numbness, a sensation of pins and needles in the extremities, and muscle aches.’
    • ‘The woman, in her 20s, complained of pins and needles in her neck and paramedics wanted to put a spine board into the back of her seat to carefully get her out the vehicle.’
    • ‘The inquest heard she reported to the A & E ward with pins and needles in her hands and legs, feeling nauseous and with a headache.’
    • ‘My mother had been complaining of pins and needles up her right arm, but she just put it down to poor circulation.’
    • ‘I have received quite a few letters from people suffering from restless legs, pins and needles and other tingling sensations which have not been found to be caused by anything in particular.’
    prickling, tingling, sting, stinging, smart, smarting, pricking, itch, creeping sensation, goose pimples, gooseflesh
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Phrases

  • on pins and needles

    • In an agitated state of suspense.

      • ‘Everyone is on pins and needles, waiting for the Federal Reserve to announce its decision on interest rates within the hour.’
      • ‘The baseball world has been on pins and needles for weeks now, waiting for George Steinbrenner to hurl lightning bolts - or at least a few pink slips - down from the Yankee Stadium owner's box.’
      • ‘She sat on pins and needles, waiting for his response.’
      • ‘It gets pretty darn intense, and a lot of guys are on pins and needles when the weather starts changing or a cold front begins moving through right before an important qualifying session.’
      • ‘People are on pins and needles to see what controversial remarks high-ranking officials in the Roh administration will make next.’
      • ‘Everyone was on pins and needles to see if the elections went off smoothly and fierce legal battles could be avoided.’
      • ‘We were on pins and needles for all the game.’
      • ‘The rest of us were on pins and needles until they returned in about 45 minutes with the aircraft still in good shape and ready to take us out.’
      • ‘‘Quite frankly, everyone is on pins and needles,’ she says.’
      • ‘I know that I was all ready to post my most exciting secrets on Saturday morning and I'm sure that you were all on pins and needles, too, but sometimes life steps in and puts other things in your path.’
      • ‘It will keep people on pins and needles for the next 48 months but we'll keep trucking along.’
      • ‘He had finally perfected what he was going to say, and he was waiting on pins and needles for his chance to put all his worries to rest.’
      • ‘I don't regret my recent purchase; I suppose I'm just frustrated because my timing means I'll be walking on pins and needles every time I want to download/buy new software, etc.’
      • ‘I didn't want to spend the rest of the evening on pins and needles, avoiding him because I was afraid of a confrontation.’
      • ‘Now they sit on pins and needles, figuratively speaking, because, now that you're back, they don't know if you are to be depended upon.’
      • ‘Well, we're on pins and needles until we hear any confirmation, if there is any to be had on the latest rumors regarding DNA results, everyone.’
      • ‘You look like you're sitting on pins and needles.’
      • ‘I'm waiting on pins and needles for the results.’
      • ‘During the week-long interval, she was on pins and needles.’
      • ‘With the world glued to their TVs, watching on pins and needles, NASA today scrubbed the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery at the last minute.’
      in suspense, waiting with bated breath
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Pronunciation

pins and needles

/pɪnz ænd/