teasel


1tea·sel

noun \ˈtē-zəl\

Definition of TEASEL

1
a :  an Old World prickly herb (Dipsacus fullonum of the family Dipsacaceae, the teasel family) with flower heads that are covered with stiff hooked bracts and were used especially formerly in the woolen industry —called also fuller's teasel
b :  a plant of the same genus as the teasel
2
a :  a flower head of the fuller's teasel used when dried to raise a nap on woolen cloth
b :  a wire substitute for the teasel

Illustration of TEASEL

Origin of TEASEL

Middle English tesel, from Old English ̄sel; akin to Old English ̄san to tease
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with TEASEL

2teasel

transitive verb
tea·seled or tea·selledtea·sel·ing or tea·sel·ling \ˈtēz-liŋ, ˈtē-zə-\

Definition of TEASEL

:  to nap (cloth) with teasels

First Known Use of TEASEL

1543

teasel

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of about 15 species constituting the genus Dipsacus of the family Dipsacaceae (the teasel family), native to Europe, the Mediterranean area, and tropical Africa. Many teasels are prickly, coarse biennials with tall-domed heads of numerous, four-lobed flowers that sit on a crownlike circle of spiny, narrow bracts. The spiny, dry fruiting heads of fuller's teasel (D. sativus) have been used since Roman times to raise the nap of woolen fabrics in a process known as fulling.

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