\ ˈspī-kē How to pronounce spiky (audio) \
variants: or less commonly spikey
spikier; spikiest

Definition of spiky

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by spikes spiky barbed wire
2 : sharply irritating or acerbic (as in temper or manner)

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Other Words from spiky

spikily \ ˈspī-​kə-​lē How to pronounce spikily (audio) \ adverb
spikiness \ ˈspī-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce spikiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of spiky in a Sentence

a plant with spiky leaves He has a spiky personality.
Recent Examples on the Web People of every age and gender donned the black mask of the Black Panther, with its sharp, symmetrical silver lines; the hard-bodied top that enhanced the torso; the spiky necklace that gleamed under the light of the theater lobby. Clint Smith, The Atlantic, "Chadwick Boseman Was Our Superhero," 30 Aug. 2020 Salter McNeil watched as a young white protester with spiky hair rushed ahead and climbed the fence. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, "How Black Lives Matter Is Changing the Church," 30 Aug. 2020 The fritillary is similar and as striking as the monarch, which will arrive by the thousands to Crow-Hassan at the end of August to feed on the spiky blazing stars — also intentionally planted for them. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, "Crow-Hassan's prairie is a mosaic of wild things and built to last," 31 July 2020 In its place grew invasive plants, like kiawe, a spiky mesquite tree from South America that monopolizes the already limited moisture in the soil. Josh Silberg, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hawai‘i’s Last Dunes Are Home to Species Found Nowhere Else on the Planet," 26 Feb. 2020 Until real restraint on acquisitions appears — perhaps following a change in control in Washington — the spiky independence of entrepreneurs may be the only thing standing in the way of the big getting bigger. Owen Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "The world is in chaos, but tech keeps on buying," 8 July 2020 The target the scientists were interested in — the distinctive spiky protein on the virus surface — was unstable and tended to shape-shift. Christopher Rowland, Washington Post, "A covid-19 vaccine rooted in a government partnership is fueling financial rewards for company executives," 2 July 2020 The spiky outer layer provides an extra level of stimulation and increases circulation. Popular Science, "Fascia-busting products for rolling out your sore muscles," 8 Oct. 2019 Once injected into the muscle, the body's own cells are instructed to make copies of a spiky protein on the coronavirus. Fox News, "First volunteer receives experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Imperial College in UK trial," 25 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spiky.' 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 spiky

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spiky

Time Traveler

The first known use of spiky was in 1578

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Statistics for spiky

Last Updated

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spiky.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiky. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for spiky


How to pronounce spiky (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spiky

: having sharp points : formed into points
British, informal : tending to become angry or annoyed easily

More from Merriam-Webster on spiky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spiky

Britannica English: Translation of spiky for Arabic Speakers

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