nettled; nettles; nettling

If you know what a nettle is—it's a plant with stinging hairs—then you'll have no trouble remembering the verb nettle: it means to annoy, bother, irritate, or bedevil.

A kid sister, a mosquito, an angry boyfriend, or a hot, muggy day: all of these are examples of things that might nettle a person. When you nettle someone, you act like a nettle; you annoy, bother, and generally tick off a person. The person who nettles you can be called nettlesome, which means that they're acting like a nettle. I find that the very sound of his voice nettles me. The sound alone makes me wish he would just shut up.

Definitions of nettle
  1. noun
    any of numerous plants having stinging hairs that cause skin irritation on contact (especially of the genus Urtica or family Urticaceae)
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    Urtica dioica, stinging nettle
    perennial Eurasian nettle established in North America having broad coarsely toothed leaves with copious stinging hairs
    Roman nettle, Urtica pipulifera
    annual European nettle with stinging foliage and small clusters of green flowers
    Laportea canadensis, wood nettle
    American perennial herb found in rich woods and provided with stinging hairs; provides fibers used for textiles
    Pilea pumilla, clearweed, dead nettle, richweed
    a plants of the genus Pilea having drooping green flower clusters and smooth translucent stems and leaves
    Pilea microphylla, artillery plant
    tropical American stingless nettle that discharges its pollen explosively
    Pilea involucrata, friendship plant, panamica, panamiga
    low stingless nettle of Central and South America having velvety brownish-green toothed leaves and clusters of small green flowers
    type of:
    any plant that crowds out cultivated plants
  2. verb
    sting with or as with nettles and cause a stinging pain or sensation
    synonyms: urticate
    whip with or as with nettles
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    type of:
    bite, burn, sear, sting
    cause a sharp or stinging pain or discomfort
  3. verb
    cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
    synonyms: annoy, bother, chafe, devil, get at, get to, gravel, irritate, nark, rag, rile, vex
    feel extreme irritation or anger
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    get, get under one's skin
    eat into, fester, fret, gnaw, grate, rankle
    gnaw into; make resentful or angry
    cause to be annoyed, irritated, or resentful
    trouble or vex
    cause annoyance in
    beset, chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, molest, plague, provoke
    annoy continually or chronically
    antagonise, antagonize
    provoke the hostility of
    goad, needle
    goad or provoke, as by constant criticism
    bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate, rag, torment
    treat cruelly
    harass by imposing humiliating or painful tasks, as in military institutions
    type of:
    give displeasure to
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