prick·ly / ˈprik(ə)lē/ • adj. (-li·er, -li·est) 1. covered in prickles: masses of prickly brambles. ∎ resembling or feeling like prickles: his hair was prickly and short. ∎ having or causing a tingling or itching sensation: a dress that was prickly around the neck my skin feels prickly.2. (of a person) ready to take offense. ∎ liable to cause someone to take offense: this is a prickly subject.DERIVATIVES: prick·li·ness n.