a stiff, sharp-pointed, straight or curved woody projection on the stem or other part of a plant.
a source of discomfort, annoyance, or difficulty; an irritation or an obstacle:
the issue has become a thorn in renewing the peace talks. See also a thorn in someone's side below.
(also thorn bush or thorn tree)
a thorny bush, shrub, or tree, esp. a hawthorn.
an Old English and Icelandic runic letter, Þ or þ, representing the dental fricatives
/ [voicedth]/ and
/ [unvoicedth]/ . In English it was eventually superseded by the digraph th. Compare with eth.
a thorn in someone's side
a source of continual annoyance or trouble:
the pastor has long been a thorn in the side of the regime.DERIVATIVES:
adj. (in sense 1).
/ -ˌproōf/ adj. (in sense 1).
The name of a runic LETTER
and its manuscript and printed form þ, used in OLD ENGLISH
and MIDDLE ENGLISH
for voiced and voiceless th
. In late medieval times, its form became similar to, and in some handwriting identical with, y
, with the result that ye
, etc., were used (well into modern times) as variants of the
, etc.: the origin of ye
in such phrases and names as Ye Olde Englishe Tea Shoppe
(often facetiously pronounced ‘ye oldy Englishy tea shoppy’). See ETH
, born, borne, bourn, Braun, brawn, corn, dawn, drawn, faun, fawn, forborne, forewarn, forlorn, freeborn, horn, lawn, lorn, morn, mourn, newborn, Norn, outworn, pawn, porn, prawn, Quorn, sawn, scorn, Sean, shorn, spawn, suborn, sworn, thorn, thrawn, torn, Vaughan, warn, withdrawn, worn, yawn
•airborne • Ayckbourn • seaborne
•Eastbourne • stillborn • highborn
•Osborne • winterbourne
•waterborne • firstborn • Apeldoorn
•althorn • hartshorn • leghorn
•greenhorn • bighorn • inkhorn
•tinhorn • foghorn • longhorn
•shorthorn • shoehorn • Flügelhorn
•bullhorn • alpenhorn • Matterhorn
•acorn • seedcorn • sweetcorn
•barleycorn • unicorn • Capricorn
•leprechaun • tricorne • einkorn
•popcorn • Runcorn • peppercorn
•lovelorn • frogspawn • wire-drawn
•wartorn • blackthorn • hawthorn
•careworn • time-worn • shopworn
sharp-pointed process on a plant; thornbearing plant. OE. þorn
= OS. thorn
), (O)HG. dorn
, ON. þorn
, Goth. þaurnus
:- Gmc. þurnuz
:- IE. *tṛnus
, f. *tṛn- tern-
, repr. also by OIr. tráinín
small stalk of grass, OSl. trŭnŭ
thorn, Skr. tṛ́ṇa-
grass-stalk, Gr. térnax
) OE. þorniġ
thorn in the flesh a constant affliction, a source of continual trouble and annoyance; often with biblical allusion to 2 Corinthians 12:7. The phrase thorn in the side
is also frequently used.
See also crown of thorns
, no rose without a thorn
A hard side stem with a sharp point at the tip, replacing the growing point. In some plants the development of thorns and subsequent suppression of the growing points may be a response to dry conditions. Examples are the thorns of gorse and hawthorn. Compare prickle
an Old English
and Icelandic runic letter, þ or Þ. It was eventually superseded by the digraph th
, but has been used as a phonetic symbol for the voiceless dental fricative.
A woody, projecting structure with a sharp point that is derived from the leaf, stem, or branch of the plant and is connected to its vascular system
German name for Toruń.