Definition of thorny in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈθɔːni/

adjective (thornier, thorniest)

1Having many thorns or thorn bushes: tangled thorny branches
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, spined, bristly, briary, sharp, pointed
technical spinose, spinous
2Causing 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.



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


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.

Words that rhyme with thorny

brawny, corny, horny, lawny, mulligatawny, scrawny, tawny

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: thorny

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