thorny

adjective
\ ˈthȯr-nē How to pronounce thorny (audio) \
thornier; thorniest

Definition of thorny

1 : full of thorns
2 : full of difficulties or controversial points : ticklish a thorny problem

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Other Words from thorny

thorniness noun

Examples of thorny in a Sentence

stay out of the thorny brambles unless you want a ton of scratches

Recent Examples on the Web

In Sontag’s understanding of this notoriously thorny and difficult-to-define sensibility, camp exists when style is prioritized over content. Vogue, "Some Notes on Spring’s Campiest Accessories," 10 Apr. 2019 The episode also dives into the thorny question of fish pain and the ethics of eating fish at all. Byrd Pinkerton, Vox, "13 of Vox’s best podcast episodes of 2018," 6 Dec. 2018 Here boyd has identified is an extremely thorny problem. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How a new class of “digital martyrs” are manipulating social networks," 18 Sep. 2018 The thesis grapples with a thorny problem of United States policy in the Middle East — how much repression by our allies is tolerable? Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows," 27 June 2018 The thorny issue of a hard border with Ireland remains. Avantika Chilkoti, WSJ, "Brexit Delays Entice Sterling Investors to Rejoin the Market," 22 Jan. 2019 Court approval would resolve one of the thorniest conflicts in Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy while clearing the way for resolutions with competing bondholder groups. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Puerto Rico’s $18 Billion Bond Restructuring Nears Completion," 19 Jan. 2019 Despite a thorny relationship with the Bush family, President Donald Trump and his wife Melania will attend the funeral; Trump will designate Wednesday as a National Day of Mourning. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Trump and Xi Jinping reach a temporary trade-war truce," 3 Dec. 2018 Duterte has had a thorny relationship with Catholic bishops, who have criticized his bloody anti-drug crackdown and vulgar language and expressed alarm over the killings of three priests in brazen gun attacks in recent months. Jim Gomez, Fox News, "Bishops call for 3-day fasting after Duterte says God stupid," 10 July 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for thorny

Last Updated

19 May 2019

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Time Traveler for thorny

The first known use of thorny was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for thorny

thorny

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of thorny

: having a lot of thorns
: very difficult or complicated

thorny

adjective
\ ˈthȯr-nē How to pronounce thorny (audio) \
thornier; thorniest

Kids Definition of thorny

1 : full of or covered with thorns
2 : full of difficulties a thorny situation

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More from Merriam-Webster on thorny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thorny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thorny

Spanish Central: Translation of thorny

Nglish: Translation of thorny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thorny for Arabic Speakers

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