Definition of pins and needles in English:

pins and needles

plural noun

treated as singular
  • A tingling sensation in a limb recovering from numbness.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She climbed on his back and lay there, felt the surface beneath start to prick like pins and needles in the rising warmth.’
    • ‘These symptoms consist mainly of tingling, numbness, a sensation of pins and needles in the extremities, and muscle aches.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Both her legs were tingling with 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.’
    • ‘Station officer Graham Davies said: ‘He was complaining about pins and needles in his legs.’’
    • ‘He is very weak, suffers from pins and needles, and uses a wheelchair to get around.’
    • ‘‘They are experiencing nagging pain spreading across their backs and legs, numb fingers and recurring pins and needles,’ he says.’
    • ‘The 47-year-old father-of-two said he suffered several attacks a day when his fingers turned white, followed by pins and needles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Today, I've got pins and needles in my right hand.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For eight months she had experienced pins and needles down her right side.’
    • ‘My mother had been complaining of pins and needles up her right arm, but she just put it down to poor circulation.’
    • ‘Savannah started to feel pins and needles in her back and her right arm turned blue a week after the accident.’
    • ‘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.’
    prickling, tingling, sting, stinging, smart, smarting, pricking, itch, creeping sensation, goosebumps, goose pimples, pins and needles

Phrases

    on pins and needles
    • In an agitated state of suspense.

      • ‘You look like you're sitting on pins and needles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It will keep people on pins and needles for the next 48 months but we'll keep trucking along.’
      • ‘I'm waiting on pins and needles for the results.’
      • ‘During the week-long interval, she was on pins and needles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

pins and needles