Definition of nettle in English:


Syllabification: net·tle
Pronunciation: /ˈnetl


  • 1A herbaceous plant that has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs.
    • Genus Urtica, family Urticaceae: several species, in particular the Eurasian stinging nettle (U. dioica)
    More example sentences
    • These so-called host plants include many broadleaf weeds and cover crops such as nettles, mallow, chicory, dandelion, thistles, bindweed, deadly nightshade, and many clovers.
    • But the beauty of most edible plants - nettles, dandelions, alexanders, fat hen, sorrel - is that they are so prolific they are considered a nuisance.
    • Almost everyone is familiar with the nettle through its formidable sting, but few know about the important role it plays in the natural world.
  • 1.1Used in names of plants that have properties or appearance similar to nettle, e.g., dead-nettle.
    More example sentences
    • Flea beetles also feed on many nongarden plants, including Virginia creeper, pokeweed, horse nettle, pigweed and wild mustard family plants.
    • Dead nettles are ground cover perennials with leaves that are marked in silver.


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  • 2 archaic Beat or sting (someone) with nettles.
    More example sentences
    • The weeds on either side had been cut during the last few days, otherwise I suspect my legs would have been badly nettled.
    • I had to get into the hedge-back to take this and nettled my legs.


Old English netle, netele, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch netel and German Nessel. The verb dates from late Middle English.

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