this·​tle·​down ˈthi-səl-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce thistledown (audio)
: the typically plumose pappus from the ripe flower head of a thistle

Examples of thistledown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So that the old terror, of exclusion — or abandonment perhaps — didn’t trouble us, any more than the thistledown troubled us whirling softly off the vegetation by the water. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 But for now, a cold April’s closing moments parachute slowly home, so by mid-afternoon snow is recast as seed heads and thistledown. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 Apr. 2022

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

1561, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of thistledown was in 1561

Dictionary Entries Near thistledown

Cite this Entry

“Thistledown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


this·​tle·​down ˈthis-əl-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce thistledown (audio)
: the mass of seed-carrying fluffy bristles from the ripe flower head of a thistle

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