crown of thorns

noun phrase

Definition of crown of thorns

: a starfish (Acanthaster planci) of the Pacific region that is covered with long spines and feeds on coral polyps sometimes causing destruction of coral reefs

called also crown-of-thorns starfish

First Known Use of crown of thorns

1964, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About crown of thorns

Time Traveler for crown of thorns

Time Traveler

The first known use of crown of thorns was in 1964

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near crown of thorns

crown of the rose

crown of thorns

crown palm

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for crown of thorns

Cite this Entry

“Crown of thorns.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crown%20of%20thorns. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on crown of thorns

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about crown of thorns

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!