variants or less commonly spikey
spikier; spikiest
: of, relating to, or characterized by spikes
spiky barbed wire
: sharply irritating or acerbic (as in temper or manner)
spikily adverb
spikiness noun

Examples of spiky in a Sentence

a plant with spiky leaves He has a spiky personality.
Recent Examples on the Web How Stem Segments Tell the Difference The Thanksgiving cactus has the spikiest stem segments of the three varieties, and its pollen is yellow. Emma Phelps, Southern Living, 30 Oct. 2023 Common snappers range from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico, while their spikier cousins are mostly found in the southern states west to Texas. Paul Richards, Field & Stream, 1 Nov. 2023 Her hair was mostly swept up into a bun, emphasizing the straight line of her slightly spiky new bangs. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 27 Aug. 2023 These ads document the EV arms race playing out right now as companies beef up their electric offerings with higher profiles, spikier bodies, and more imposing grilles. Curbed, 8 Feb. 2023 And the finale, two lobsters — brown and spikier than their US relativesbut much sweeter, more like crab — split in half and over what must be a pound of spaghetti. Helene Stapinski,, 16 Mar. 2023 Romeo, played on this preview night by understudy Brandon Antonio, becomes a deliciously dim himbo, and Wolfe, as a Renaissance housewife desperate to breathe the air out there, brings a great, spiky irreverence to her disgruntled Anne. Leah Greenblatt,, 18 Nov. 2022 Lakefront homes in Ontario were encased in a thick, spiky coat of ice after last weekend’s blizzard whipped frigid waves on shore. Angela Fritz, CNN, 29 Dec. 2022 The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, still takes images of spiky stars. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 13 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spiky.' 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

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spiky was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near spiky

Cite this Entry

“Spiky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also spikey
spikier; spikiest
: of, relating to, or characterized by spikes
spiky barbed wire
spikiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on spiky

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