AskDefine | Define thorn

Dictionary Definition



1 something that causes irritation and annoyance; "he's a thorn in my flesh" [syn: irritant]
2 a sharp-pointed tip on a stem or leaf [syn: spine, prickle, pricker, sticker]
3 a Germanic character of runic origin

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


þorn and þorn, from common *thurn(u)-, from *(s)ter-n- "sharp stalk or thorn", possibly derived from *ster- "stiff". Near cognates include German Dorn and Gothic 𐌸𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌽𐌿𐍃 (þaurnus). Further cognates include Old Church Slavonic трънъ (trŭnŭ) "thorn" and Sanskrit तृण (tṛṇa) "grass".



  1. A sharp protective spine of a plant.
  2. A letter of the Latin alphabet (capital: Þ, small: þ), borrowed by Old English from the futhark to represent a dental fricative, then not distinguished from eth, but in modern use (in Icelandic and other languages, but no longer in English) used only for the voiceless dental fricative found in English thigh
    • See also Etymology of ye (definite article).
sharp protective spine of a plant
letter of the lattin alphabet (Þ, þ)

See also

Extensive Definition

Thorn has several meanings:

Persons, Characters


Other uses

thorn in German: Dorn
thorn in French: Thorn
thorn in Italian: Thorn
thorn in Dutch: Thorn
thorn in Polish: Thorn
thorn in Swedish: Thorn

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adherent, adhesive, affliction, annoyance, bane, barb, barnacle, bitter cup, bitter draft, bitter draught, bitter pill, bother, bramble, brier, bristle, bugbear, bulldog, burden, burden of care, burr, cactus, calamity, cankerworm of care, care, catchweed, cement, cleavers, cross, crown of thorns, crushing burden, curse, death, decal, decalcomania, destruction, disease, distress, encumbrance, evil, gall, gall and wormwood, glue, goose grass, grievance, gunk, harm, infliction, irritant, irritation, leech, limpet, load, molasses, mucilage, needle, nemesis, nettle, nuisance, open wound, oppression, pack of troubles, paste, peck of troubles, pest, pestilence, pine needle, plague, plaster, point, prickle, quill, remora, running sore, scourge, sea of troubles, sorrow, spicule, spiculum, spike, spikelet, spine, sticker, syrup, thistle, torment, torture, trouble, vexation, visitation, waters of bitterness, weight, woe, yucca
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