Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

prickly

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of prickly

  1. 1 causing an unpleasant tingling sensation <she tried to ignore the feel of the prickly grass against her skin> Synonyms irritating, itchy, scratchyRelated Words coarse, harsh, roughNear Antonyms silken, silky, soft, soothing

  2. 2 easily irritated or annoyed <she dreaded having to deal with her prickly boss> Synonyms choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, crotchety, fiery, grouchy, grumpy, irascible, peevish, perverse, pettish, petulant, irritable, quick-tempered, raspy, ratty, short-tempered, snappish, snappy, snarky, snippety, snippy, stuffy, testy, waspishRelated Words bearish, bilious, cantankerous, cross-grained, curmudgeonly, disagreeable, dyspeptic, ill-humored, ill-natured, ill-tempered, off-color (or off-colored), ornery, querulous, snarly, surly; argumentative, bellicose, belligerent, combative, contentious, disputatious, fractious, fretful, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent; huffy, pouty, sensitive, short, sulky, sullen, tetchy, thin-skinned, touchy; hot-blooded, passionateNear Antonyms affable, companionable, cordial, extroverted (also extraverted), friendly, genial, gregarious, outgoing, sociable; agreeable, amiable, good-natured, good-tempered, sweet, well-disposed; carefree, easygoing, happy-go-lucky, relaxed; forbearing, long-suffering, obliging, patient, stoic (or stoical), tolerant, uncomplaining, understanding

  3. 3 having leaves or branches which are likely to cause a scratch <waded carefully through the prickly bushes> Synonyms brambly, scratchy, thistly, thornyRelated Words burred; bristly, coarse, jagged, rough

  4. 4 requiring exceptional skill or caution in performance or handling <a prickly issue that will outrage at least one special interest if not handled delicately> Synonyms catchy, delicate, difficult, dodgy [chiefly British], hairy, knotty, nasty, tricky, problematic (also problematical), sensitive, spiny, sticky, thorny, ticklish, touchy, tough, tricksyRelated Words abstract, abstruse, complex, complicated, hard, intricate, involved, recondite, serious; problem, scabrous, stubborn, troublesome, troublous, vexatious, vexing, worrisome; burdensome, demanding, discommoding, exacting, exhausting, importunate, inconvenient, onerous, oppressive, painful, stressfulNear Antonyms easy, effortless, manageable, painless, simple, straightforward, uncomplicated, undemanding, unproblematic




Learn More about prickly


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a timid, meek, or unassertive person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe reduce disapprove perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ