Definition of thistle
: any of various prickly composite plants (especially genera Carduus, Cirsium, and Onopordum) with often showy heads of mostly tubular flowers; also : any of various other prickly plants
thistlyplay \ˈthi-s(ə-)lē\ adjective
Recent Examples of thistle from the Web
Milk thistle is being used in a clinical trial as a possible antidote, according to the CDC, though for now there is no sure cure for those who eat the mushroom.
Milk thistle is being used in a clinical trial as a possible antidote, according to the CDC, thought for now there is no sure cure for those who eat the mushroom.
One useful introduction is teasel, a tall thistle-like plant that grows in sloughs such as that on the south side of Victory Road west of Cole Road or any similar boggy place.
The weed-control scheme is supposed to help prevent the Colorado Butterfly Plant from being choked off by Canada thistle, leafy spurge, Dalmatian toadflax, hound’s tongue and hoary cress.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thistle'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of thistle
Middle English thistel, from Old English; akin to Old High German distill thistle
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
THISTLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of thistle for English Language Learners
: a wild plant that has sharp points on its leaves and purple, yellow, or white flowers
THISTLE Defined for Kids
Definition of thistle for Students
: a prickly plant that has usually purplish often showy heads of flowers
Seen and Heard
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