From Middle English thorn, þorn, from Old English þorn, þyrn (“thorn”), from Proto-Germanic *þurnuz, from Proto-Indo-European *tr̥nós, from *(s)ter- (“stiff”). Near cognates include West Frisian toarn, Low German Doorn, Dutch doorn, German Dorn, Danish and Norwegian torn, Swedish torn, törne, Gothic 𐌸𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌽𐌿𐍃 (þaurnus). Further cognates include Old Church Slavonic трънъ (trŭnŭ, “thorn”), Russian тёрн (tjorn), Polish cierń, Sanskrit तृण (tṛ́ṇa, “grass”).
thorn (plural thorns)
- (botany) A sharp protective spine of a plant.
- Any shrub or small tree that bears thorns, especially a hawthorn.
- the white thorn
- the cockspur thorn
- (figuratively) That which pricks or annoys; anything troublesome.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981, 2 Corinthians 12:7:
- There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me.
- 1698, Robert South, Twelve Sermons upon Several Subjects and Occasions:
- The guilt of empire, all its thorns and cares, / Be only mine.
- A letter of Latin script (capital: Þ, small: þ), borrowed from the futhark; today used only in Icelandic to represent the voiceless dental fricative, but originally used in several early Germanic scripts, including Old English where it represented the dental fricatives that are today written th (Old English did not have phonemic voicing distinctions for fricatives).
- See also Etymology of ye (definite article).
- thorn apple
- thorn broom (Calicotome spp.)
- thorn devil (Moloch horridus)
- thorn hopper (Centrotus cornutus)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- To pierce with, or as if with, a thorn
- 2003, Scott D. Zachary, Scorn This, page 175:
- Even Judge Bradley's callused sentiments were thorned by the narration of Jaclyn's journals.
- thorn on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- Thorns, spines, and prickles on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- Thorn (letter) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
thorn (plural thornes)
- A thorn (spine on a plant with a sharp point)
- Thorn or eth (the letter þ and/or ð)
- A plant having thorns, especially the hawthorn or rosebush.
- (rare) Thorns pulled from the ground for burning.
- (rare) A dish incorporating hawthorn.
From Proto-Germanic *þurnuz (“thorn, sloe”), from Proto-Indo-European *tr̥nós, from *(s)ter-. Germanic cognates include Old English þorn (English thorn), Dutch doorn, Old High German thorn (German Dorn), Old Norse þorn (Swedish törne), Gothic 𐌸𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌽𐌿𐍃 (þaurnus). The Indo-European root is also the source of Old Church Slavonic трънъ (trŭnŭ) (Russian тёрн (tjorn, “sloe, blackthorn”)), Sanskrit तृण (tṛṇa, “grass”).
- thorn; thorny bush