Prickly Prick"ly, a. Full of sharp points or prickles; armed or covered with prickles; as, a prickly shrub. [1913 Webster]

{Prickly heat} (Med.), a noncontagious cutaneous eruption of red pimples, attended with intense itching and tingling of the parts affected. It is due to inflammation of the sweat glands, and is often brought on by overheating the skin in hot weather.

{Prickly pear} (Bot.), a name given to several plants of the cactaceous genus {Opuntia}, American plants consisting of fleshy, leafless, usually flattened, and often prickly joints inserted upon each other. The sessile flowers have many petals and numerous stamens. The edible fruit is a large pear-shaped berry containing many flattish seeds. The common species of the Northern Atlantic States is {Opuntia vulgaris}. In the South and West are many others, and in tropical America more than a hundred more. {Opuntia vulgaris}, {Opuntia Ficus-Indica}, and {Opuntia Tuna} are abundantly introduced in the Mediterranean region, and {Opuntia Dillenii} has become common in India.

{Prickly pole} (Bot.), a West Indian palm ({Bactris Plumierana}), the slender trunk of which bears many rings of long black prickles.

{Prickly withe} (Bot.), a West Indian cactaceous plant ({Cereus triangularis}) having prickly, slender, climbing, triangular stems.

{Prickly rat} (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of South American burrowing rodents belonging to {Ctenomys} and allied genera. The hair is usually intermingled with sharp spines. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • prickly — 1570s, spiny, armed with prickles (originally of holly leaves), from PRICKLE (Cf. prickle) + Y (Cf. y) (2). Figurative sense of irritable first recorded 1862. Prickly heat is from 1736, so called for the sensation; prickly pear is from 1760 …   Etymology dictionary

  • prickly — [adj1] thorny or difficult annoying, barbed, bothersome, brambly, briery, bristly, complicated, echinated, intricate, involved, knotty, nettlesome, pointed, sharp, spiny, stimulating, ticklish, tricky, troublesome, trying; concepts 485,565 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

  • prickly — ► ADJECTIVE (pricklier, prickliest) 1) covered in or resembling prickles. 2) having or causing a prickling sensation. 3) ready to take offence …   English terms dictionary

  • prickly — [prik′lē] adj. pricklier, prickliest 1. full of prickles 2. stinging; smarting; tingling prickliness n …   English World dictionary

  • prickly — prick|ly [ˈprıkli] adj 1.) covered with thin sharp points ▪ a plant with prickly leaves 2.) if your skin feels prickly, it stings slightly ▪ His skin felt painful and prickly. ▪ The base of my neck was prickly with sweat. 3.) something that is… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • prickly — adjective 1 covered with prickles: Prickly brambles grew on either side of the path. 2 informal someone who is prickly gets annoyed or offended easily: Fiona s in a very prickly mood this morning. 3 something prickly makes you feel a small… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • prickly — [[t]prɪ̱kəli[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Something that is prickly feels rough and uncomfortable, as if it has a lot of prickles. The bunk mattress was hard, the blankets prickly and slightly damp... The grass was prickly and cold. 2) ADJ GRADED Someone… …   English dictionary

  • prickly — UK [ˈprɪklɪ] / US adjective Word forms prickly : adjective prickly comparative pricklier superlative prickliest 1) covered with sharp points that cut or sting prickly branches/bushes 2) a) informal tending to become angry very quickly He s always …   English dictionary

  • prickly — adj. (pricklier, prickliest) 1 (esp. in the names of plants and animals) having prickles. 2 (of a person) ready to take offence. 3 tingling. Phrases and idioms: prickly heat an itchy inflammation of the skin, causing a tingling sensation and… …   Useful english dictionary

  • prickly — prick|ly [ prıkli ] adjective 1. ) covered with sharp points that cut or sting: prickly branches/bushes 2. ) rough and making your skin feel uncomfortable: a prickly shirt 3. ) INFORMAL tending to become angry very quickly: He s always been very… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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