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a thorn in someone's side (or flesh)

Definition of a thorn in someone's side or flesh in English:

A source of continual annoyance or trouble: the pastor has long been a thorn in the side of the regime
More example sentences
  • We will continue to be a thorn in his side, keeping a close eye on him and interfering with his criminal activities.
  • A committed republican, he continued to be a thorn in Cromwell 's side, being elected to the protector's parliaments of 1654 and 1656, but prevented from taking his seat.
  • His uncompromising attitude continually made him a thorn in the Establishment 's side.
Synonyms
annoyance, irritant, irritation, source of irritation, source of vexation, source of annoyance, pinprick, pest, bother, trial, torment, plague, inconvenience, nuisance, menace
informal aggravation, peeve, pet peeve, pain, pain in the neck, bind, bore, headache, hassle
Scottish informal nyaff, skelf
North American informal pain in the butt, nudnik, burr in/under someone's saddle
Australian/New Zealand informal nark
British vulgar slang pain in the arse
See parent entry: thorn

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Nearby words

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Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something