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 prickling (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

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 For me, my inflammation began to subside five days post-treatment, just as the tiniest prickle of stubble started growing back on my upper lip. Jessica Defino, Marie Claire, "I Got My Face Shaved With a Scalpel in the Name of Smooth Skin," 11 Sep. 2018 Molly Edwards, who attended Dr. Friedman’s course two years ago, said students looked closely at the difference between thorns, spines and prickles. Douglas Belkin, WSJ, "Rhododendron? Hydrangea? America Doesn’t Know Anymore," 14 Aug. 2018 House Republicans in particular prickle at the notion of approving Obamacare subsidies. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Why a bipartisan deal to prop up Obamacare may be over before it has begun," 18 Oct. 2017 Steel, wire and splintered wood prickle from broken buildings in fantastic shapes: spikes, ruffles, fanfolds of tin and aluminum. By Michael Browning, miamiherald, "A desolated landscape: the toll of Hurricane Andrew," 25 Aug. 2015 Suddenly every sound and motion made my skin prickle and pulse. Bassey Ikpi, The Root, "Anxiety Is All in Your Head," 4 July 2017 But Nixon's men grew up in a denser geography of ethnic difference, full of prickles and thorns. Sam Tanenhaus, Esquire, "When Pat Buchanan Tried To Make America Great Again," 5 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 In describing the events around his hospitalization, 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. Neil Macfarquhar, BostonGlobe.com, "Fears of Navalny poisoning are rooted in previous attacks on Kremlin foes," 29 July 2019 There’s the prickling sense, reading Macfarlane like Dyer, that a library door or a manhole cover or a bosky path might lead you not just to the end of a chapter but to a drugs party or a rave. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "‘Underland’ Offers Excellent Nature Writing From Deep, Dark Places," 3 June 2019 To walk with Marfil Estrella was to feel the skin-prickling third sense that every eye in the territory was on you, with looks that showed evident disgust or desire. Alice Driver, Longreads, "The Road to Asylum," 30 June 2018 The novels are prickled like a sea urchin with the spines and fuzz of many indecencies. New York Times, "Philip Roth, a Born Spellbinder and Peerless Chronicler of Sex and Death," 23 May 2018 Needles of terror prickled at the edges of the fairy-tale day in a post-Brexit kingdom. Caity Weaver, New York Times, "I Also Went to the Royal Wedding," 24 May 2018 The laser felt like tiny needles quickly prickling my skin and was somewhat uncomfortable, but not exactly painful. Sadé Carpenter, RedEye Chicago, "Time for R&R: 6 ways to relax and unwind in and near Chicago," 3 Apr. 2018

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

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

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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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Comments on prickle

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