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crown of thorns

Syllabification: crown of thorns

Definition of crown of thorns in English:

noun

1 (also crown-of-thorns-starfish) A large spiky starfish of the tropical Indo-Pacific, feeding on coral and sometimes causing great damage to reefs.
  • Acanthaster planci, class Asteroidea
Example sentences
  • It looks an impossible job when a soft-bellied gastropod like the triton tries to demolish a spiky crown of thorns starfish.
  • The crown of thorns starfish, one of the largest of the sea star group, measures approximately 45 cm across its seven to seventeen arms.
  • They could have chosen the ugly and destructive crown of thorns starfish instead.
2A Madagascan shrub of the spurge family, with bright red flowers and many slender thorns. It is a popular houseplant and is sometimes used for hedges in the tropics.
  • Euphorbia milii, family Euphorbiaceae
Example sentences
  • Hat rack cactii and pencil bush are both euphorbias, as is crown of thorns, so I'd consult a doctor about those, too.
2.1Any of a number of other thorny plants, especially Christ’s thorn.
Example sentences
  • The evergreen holly was worshiped as a promise of the sun's return, and some say that Christ's crown of thorns was made of holly.
  • Some believers think the crown of thorns was made of this type of tumbleweed.
  • In medieval times it was the belief that Jesus crown of thorns was blackberry brambles.

Origin

by association with Christ's crown of thorns.

Definition of crown of thorns in:

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Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence