pins and needles

If you stand up after sitting with your legs crossed for a long time, you might feel pins and needles, a prickly, tingling sensation in your legs. But if say you’re sitting on pins and needles, you’re nervous and anxious!

When your foot falls asleep, it feels like pins and needles. That sharp, almost painful tingling as feeling returns is almost like being jabbed with pins. If you’re really nervous about something, that feels like pins and needles too. If you’re in the hospital waiting for someone to have a baby, you’re probably on pins and needles! In medical terminology, the physical kind is called paresthesia, but most people just call it pins and needles.

Definitions of pins and needles
  1. noun
    a sharp tingling sensation from lack of circulation
    see moresee less
    type of:
    prickling, tingle, tingling
    a somatic sensation as from many tiny prickles
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week