crown of thorns

noun phrase

: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The faithful often act out the events of Good Friday by carrying a large wooden cross and crown of thorns symbolic of the suffering of Christ. Greg Garrison | , al, 8 Apr. 2023 Dressed in gray cloth with a black wig, a crown of thorns, and a heavy wooden cross on his shoulder, Mercado walked in sandals ahead of a group dressed as Roman soldiers as the rendition moved through the South End on Friday afternoon. Nick Stoico,, 7 Apr. 2023 The seventh will be a crown of thorns chandelier. Diane Bell, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crown of thorns.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crown of thorns was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near crown of thorns

Cite this Entry

“Crown of thorns.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

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