thorn

A thorn is a sharp spike that protrudes from the stem of a plant. Roses are famous for having the sweetest fragrance and the sharpest thorns.

Literal thorns, found on bushes and other plants, serve to protect plants from animals that might like to eat them. A "thorn in one's side" is an annoyance or problem: "My neighbors are a thorn in my side, with their constant loud music and crazy parties!" The source of this figurative definition is the Bible's "thorn in the flesh."

Definitions of thorn
  1. noun
    a small sharp-pointed tip resembling a spike on a stem or leaf
    synonyms: pricker, prickle, spikelet, spine, sticker
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    types:
    glochid, glochidium
    a barbed spine or bristle (often tufted on cacti)
    type of:
    aculeus
    a stiff sharp-pointed plant process
  2. noun
    something that causes irritation and annoyance
    “he's a thorn in my flesh”
    synonyms: irritant
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    type of:
    annoyance, bother, botheration, infliction, pain, pain in the ass, pain in the neck
    something or someone that causes trouble; a source of unhappiness
  3. noun
    a Germanic character of runic origin
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    type of:
    rune, runic letter
    any character from an ancient Germanic alphabet used in Scandinavia from the 3rd century to the Middle Ages
Word Family