Definition of thorny in English:


Syllabification: thorn·y
Pronunciation: /ˈTHôrnē

adjective (thornier, thorniest)

1Having many thorns or thorn bushes.
More example sentences
  • The white blossom stands out against the black thorny branches.
  • The thorny branches quickly entangled him, biting deeply into his skin.
  • The bark was extremely coarse and the branches were thorny and brittle.
prickly, spiky, barbed, spiny, sharp
technical spinose, spinous
1.1Causing distress, difficulty, or trouble: a thorny problem for our team to solve
More example sentences
  • As time moved on, and in the process of looking for answers to difficult questions, the thorny issue of forgiveness cropped up.
  • Remove context and you remove the possibility of people thinking about awkward issues or raising thorny questions.
  • Difficult and thorny issues are resolved by intelligent listening.
problematic, tricky, ticklish, touchy, delicate, controversial, awkward, difficult, knotty, tough, taxing, trying, troublesome;
complicated, complex, involved, intricate;



More example sentences
  • In the mountains of San Gabriel, overlooking the lowland vines and fruit groves, Mother Nature is most ruggedly, thornily savage.


More example sentences
  • It often forms dense thickets, and these are often thorny, since thornless cultivars appear to retain genes for thorniness that may be expressed as genes recombine in their progeny.
  • Again, as with much of Mahler, it's not so much a matter of the thorniness of the musical material or the opacity of the form, but the emotional content of the piece.
  • Avid moviegoers should be singing the director's praises from the rooftops for daring to thrash out the matter in all its imperfect, dark thorniness.

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