prickle

noun
prick·​le | \ ˈpri-kəl How to pronounce prickle (audio) \

Definition of prickle

 (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : a fine sharp process or projection especially : a sharp pointed emergence arising from the epidermis or cortex (see cortex sense 3a) of a plant (such as a rose or raspberry) — compare spine, thorn
2 : a prickling or tingling sensation

prickle

verb
prickled; prickling\ ˈpri-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce prickle (audio) \
Definition of prickle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to prick slightly
2 : to produce prickles in

intransitive verb

: to cause or feel a prickling, tingling, or stinging sensation

Examples of prickle in a Sentence

Noun She felt a prickle of fear as the stranger came closer to her. He felt the familiar prickle of excitement as the game began. Verb The burrs were prickling my arm. The wool sweater prickled my skin. My skin prickled with fear. The hair prickled on the back of my neck. She felt a prickling sensation in her shoulder.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lately, we’ve been stuck in them, like a prickle in a quiver, chickens in a coop, bears in a den, waiting out our desolate hibernation. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "Is Staying In Staying Safe?," 31 Aug. 2020 Duende is the Spanish word for it: the prickle on the skin, the ax-edge of experience, sublimity freeze-framed—even a shining closeness to death. James Parker, The Atlantic, "How Flamenco Went Pop," 21 Dec. 2019 Keep wet clothes from getting tangled in your dryer with these hedgehogs, whose round bodies and prickles will help your laundry dry faster by separating it. Popular Science, "Laundry accessories to make your life a little easier," 3 Jan. 2020 His breath was hot on my neck, warm prickles, more sparks of heat. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Preview two swoony queer romances destined to capture your heart in 2020," 4 Dec. 2019 Illustration by Natalya Balnova for TIME Thistles, a kind of flowering plant often covered in angry-looking prickles, are probably not an ingredient in any of your go-to recipes. Time, "Why Modern-Day Foragers Want You to Eat Weeds for Dinner," 7 Nov. 2019 Anyone else feeling the faint prickle of a tear or two? Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Shared a Photo of Her Pregnancy Bump After Announcing She's Having a Baby With Steve Kazee," 25 Sep. 2019 Some varieties have few to no prickles on the stems, and some are fragrant. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Polyantha roses are prolific bloomers and rugged survivors," 12 Sep. 2019 The answer seems self-evident: Thorns, spines and prickles are plants’ defensive weaponry, making their most precious parts unpalatable — even untouchable — to big plant-eaters, like deer and other mammals. Quanta Magazine, "The Thorny Truth About Spine Evolution," 14 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Scenes once passed over as unimportant begin to prickle with new meaning, as if time itself had been the missing ingredient for understanding them. Jenny Offill, The New Yorker, "A Lifetime of Lessons in “Mrs. Dalloway”," 29 Dec. 2020 But when the question came, everything in the dusty room seemed to go still; the air itself seemed to thicken, to prickle against our skin. B. Pietras, Longreads, "Secret Museums," 27 Apr. 2020 These are stinging, burning or prickling sensations which worsen with age and can last for hours or even days as the most common side effects. Uwagbale Edward-ekpu, Quartz Africa, "Americans are turning to one of Africa’s most common prescribed drugs to battle coronavirus," 21 Mar. 2020 In 2012, the journal Pain published a case report of a person with burning, prickling pain on both sides of the body. Amber Dance, Scientific American, "The Unexpected Diversity of Pain," 20 Jan. 2020 There’s the prickling sense that a library door or a manhole cover or a forest path might lead you not just to the end of a chapter but to a drugs party or a rave. New York Times, "Times Critics’ Top Books of 2019," 5 Dec. 2019 Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, hosted by CNN and The New York Times, ended with a question that prickled Democratic candidates and viewers alike. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Ellen DeGeneres Question at Democratic Presidential Debate Sparks Backlash," 16 Oct. 2019 Their family voted to remain in the European Union, and her mother prickles whenever neighbors make negative comments about immigrants. Los Angeles Times, "Off the rails: How Brexit threatens a popular travel program for young Britons," 3 Sep. 2019 In describing the events around his hospitalization, Mr. Navalny said on his website that his cellmates noticed on Saturday that the skin on his neck was reddening, and as the day progressed his face, ears and neck began burning and prickling. New York Times, "Fears of Navalny Poisoning Are Rooted in Previous Attacks on Kremlin Foes," 29 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prickle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prickle

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1522, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for prickle

Noun

Middle English prikle, from Old English pricle; akin to Old English prica prick

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Time Traveler for prickle Time Traveler

The first known use of prickle was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Prickle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prickle. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for prickle

prickle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prickle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one of usually many stiff, sharp points that grow on some plants
: a slight, sharp feeling of an emotion

prickle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of prickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause or experience an unpleasant feeling that is like the feeling of having many small, sharp points against your skin

prickle

noun
prick·​le | \ ˈpri-kəl How to pronounce prickle (audio) \

Kids Definition of prickle

 (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : a small sharp point (as a thorn)
2 : a slight stinging pain

prickle

verb
prickled; prickling
Kids Definition of prickle (Entry 2 of 2)

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