thorny

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See also: Þorný

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English thorny, þorny, þorni, from Old English þorniġ (full of thorns; thorny), from Proto-Germanic *þurnugaz (thorny), equivalent to thorn +‎ -y. Cognate with Dutch doornig (thorny), German dornig (thorny).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

thorny (comparative thornier, superlative thorniest)

  1. having thorns or spines
  2. troublesome or vexatious
    • Shakespeare
      the steep and thorny way to heaven
  3. aloof and irritable
    • Louisa May Alcott, Good Wives
      'Come, Jo, don't be thorny. After studying himself to a skeleton all the week, a fellow deserves petting, and ought to get it.'

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