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bodkin Syllabification: bod·kin
Pronunciation: /ˈbädkən/

Definition of bodkin in English:


1A blunt, thick needle with a large eye used especially for drawing tape or cord through a hem.
Example sentences
  • Thus the body of the witch might be subjected to penetration by bodkins or needles as the insensible spot was sought.
  • Isaac Newton risked his vision by poking a bodkin beneath his eyeball to understand how we see.
  • There is a nail knot/tying tool, clipper/nipper, a bodkin - which as we all know is a needle.
1.1A small pointed instrument used to pierce cloth or leather.
Example sentences
  • She stopped to examine an exquisite white embroidery bag, containing pencils for drawing, scissors, compass and bodkin in gold and mother-of-pearl.
1.2 historical A long pin used for fastening hair.
1.3 Printing , historical A pointed tool used for removing pieces of metal type for correction.


Middle English: perhaps of Celtic origin and related to Irish bod, Welsh bidog, Scottish Gaelic biodag 'dagger'.

  • The origin is perhaps Celtic linked with Irish bod, Welsh bidog, and Scottish Gaelic biodag ‘dagger’. This was the first sense recorded in English and is used by Shakespeare in Hamlet: ‘When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin’. Another early use was for a sharp instrument for piercing cloth; now, in needlework, a bodkin is, on the contrary, blunt with a large eye for threading tape and other thick threads through material.

Words that rhyme with bodkin

wineskin • Hodgkin

Definition of bodkin in:

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