noun \ˈthi-səl\

: a wild plant that has sharp points on its leaves and purple, yellow, or white flowers

Full Definition of THISTLE

:  any of various prickly composite plants (especially genera Carduus, Cirsium, and Onopordum) with often showy heads of mostly tubular flowers; also :  any of various other prickly plants
this·tly \ˈthi-s(ə-)lē\ adjective

Illustration of THISTLE

Origin of THISTLE

Middle English thistel, from Old English; akin to Old High German distill thistle
First Known Use: before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Weedy species of Cirsium, Carduus, Echinops, Sonchus, and other plant genera of the aster family (Asteraceae). The term usually refers to prickly leaved species of Carduus and Cirsium, which have dense heads of small, usually pink or purple flowers. Because they have spiny stems and flower heads without ray flowers, Carduus species are called plumeless thistles. Canadian thistle (Cirsium arvense) is an attractive but troublesome weed in agricultural areas of North America. The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland. 1341


Next Word in the Dictionary: thistlebird
Previous Word in the Dictionary: thissen
All Words Near: thistle

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up thistle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).