Definition of thorn
1a : a sharp rigid process on a plant; especially : one that is a short, indurated, sharp-pointed, and leafless modified stem — compare prickle, spineb : any of various sharp spinose structures on an animal
2 : a woody plant bearing sharp impeding processes (such as prickles or spines); especially : hawthorn
3 : something that causes distress or irritation —often used in the phrase thorn in one's side
4 : the runic letter þ used in Old English and Middle English to represent either of the fricatives \th\ or \th\ and in Icelandic to represent \th\
thornedplay \ˈthȯrnd\ adjective
thornlessplay \ˈthȯrn-ləs\ adjective
thornlikeplay \-ˌlīk\ adjective
Examples of thorn in a Sentence
your constant questions are a thorn in my side
Recent Examples of thorn from the Web
The upstart conservative Freedom Caucus wanted one of their own for the job, but the group has been a thorn in the side of party leadership, and nearly killed Speaker Paul Ryan's Affordable Care Act repeal bill.
Though Rahal dominated the race from start to finish, Dixon, who qualified sixth, represented the only potential thorn in his side.
The Thorns have high expectations for the 2017 season that include competing for both the NWSL Shield and the NWSL Championship title.
The questions of Russian hacking, and interaction between Russian officials and members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle, including his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have been a huge thorn in the side of the new administration.
Set amongst ancient camel-thorn trees in the private, 67,000-acre Kulala Wilderness Reserve, this charming lodge makes for the perfect desert hideaway.
It's been a thorn in the side of U.S.-NATO relations for decades, but Trump brought new urgency to the debate after questioning the value of the alliance and openly praising NATO's arch geopolitical foe, Russia, during his presidential campaign.
In the photo collage by Mike Loew that accompanied the clinic article, a guilty-looking, bearded Christ wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and a crown of thorns is led away by cops.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thorn'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of thorn
Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German dorn thorn, Sanskrit tṛṇa grass, blade of grass
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
THORN Defined for Kids
Definition of thorn for Students
1 : a hard sharp leafless point on the stem or branch of a plant (as a rose bush)
2 : a bush or tree that has thorns
Seen and Heard
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