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nettle Line breaks: net¦tle
Pronunciation: /ˈnɛt(ə)l/

Definition of nettle in English:


1A herbaceous plant which has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs.
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 other plants with leaves of a similar appearance to those of the nettle, e.g. dead-nettle.
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.


[with object] Back to top  
1Irritate or annoy (someone): ‘I was only asking,’ Jess said, nettled
More example sentences
  • So it nettles me a little bit for people to question her qualifications.
  • One remark of Don's, however, nettled me for its pre-emptive protecting of the poet.
  • I am nettled by this, and, refusing his attentions walk off into the surf squaring my shoulders.
British rub up the wrong way;
North American rankle, ride, gravel
British informal nark, get on someone's wick, give someone the hump, wind up, get across someone
North American informal tick off
vulgar slang piss off
British vulgar slang get on someone's tits
rare exacerbate, hump, rasp
irritated, annoyed, cross, put out, irked, galled, vexed, exasperated, infuriated;
upset, displeased, offended, affronted, disgruntled, piqued, aggrieved, stung, huffy, in a huff
informal peeved, aggravated, miffed, miffy, riled, hacked off, peed off
British informal cheesed off, browned off, brassed off, narked, eggy, not best pleased
North American informal teed off, ticked off, sore
West Indian informal vex
vulgar slang pissed off
archaic snuffy
2 archaic Sting with nettles.
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.


grasp the nettle

see grasp.

Words that rhyme with nettle

fettle, kettle, metal, mettle, petal, Popocatépetl, settle

Definition of nettle in:

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Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful