Definition of prickle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprɪk(ə)l/


1A short pointed outgrowth on the bark or epidermis of a plant; a small thorn: the prickles of the gorse bushes
More example sentences
  • Similar to the color traits, plant prickles were also evaluated for individual organs including stem, leaf, and flower and fruit calyxes.
  • Not everything in the garden is, or should be, lovely - a bit of aggression goes a long way towards introducing drama into the prettiest plot, with spikes, spears, prickles and thorns providing sublime savagery in the flower beds.
  • The thickened lamina and stiffer tissues that make up veins may, therefore, provide increased mechanical support for the leaf prickles of A. spinosa.
thorn, needle, barb, spike, point, spine, quill, spur, bristle, prong, tine
technical spicule
1.1A small spine or pointed outgrowth on the skin of certain animals.
Example sentences
  • The distinctive, colourless animal with white prickles, red eyes and pink feet is being treated with antibiotics at the Withington Hedgehog Hospital on Parsonage Road.
  • A. tuberculata is a Mediterranean species, whose shell is covered with tubercles rather than spines or prickles, and which is another kind with a red inhabitant, well known at Naples as fasolare.
  • The epidermis of prickles was found to be highly lignified and covered with a thick cuticle.
1.2A tingling sensation on a person’s skin, typically caused by strong emotion: Kathleen felt a prickle of excitement
More example sentences
  • It's difficult to hear that line without feeling a prickle of excitement.
  • I remember the prickle of excitement on my skin when listening to ‘Dookie’ in science class ten years ago; this very nearly brings it all back.
  • She ignored the small prickle of pain, thinking that Apika would surely have an antidote.
tingle, tingling sensation, tingling, prickling sensation, chill, thrill, itching, creeping sensation, gooseflesh, goose pimples, pins and needles;
Medicine  paraesthesia


[no object]
1(Of a part of the body) experience a tingling sensation, especially as a result of strong emotion: the sound made her skin prickle with horror
More example sentences
  • Nicole's skin prickled with the emotion that she felt radiating from Jadelyn.
  • I'd regained total control of my body, and now tingled all over as my skin prickled into awareness, but I wasn't nearly as cold.
  • A wave of calmness ran through his body and prickled as it reached the ends of his limbs.
tingle, itch, have a creeping sensation, have goose pimples, have gooseflesh, have goosebumps, have pins and needles
1.1 [with object] Cause a tingling sensation in: I hate the way the fibres prickle your skin
More example sentences
  • On Tuesday we had a barbeque, the sun prickled my skin and the barbeque filled my stomach, the sky was as blue as Colin Bell's shirt and the beer stopped me from cooking along with the sausages.
  • I rubbed the spot where the burr had prickled him, still talking in his ear.
  • He stopped screaming, but fear prickled his skin and raised goosebumps despite the overwhelming heat.
make something tingle, make something smart, make something itch;
sting, prick
1.2(Of a person) react defensively or angrily to something: she prickled at the implication that she had led a protected life
More example sentences
  • All four kids prickled at the detective's dismissal.


Old English pricel 'instrument for pricking, sensation of being pricked'; related to Middle Dutch prickel, from the Germanic base of prick. The verb is partly a diminutive of the verb prick.

Words that rhyme with prickle

chicle, fickle, mickle, nickel, pickle, sickle, strickle, tickle, trickle

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: prickle

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