Thistle This"tle, n. [OE. thistil, AS. [thorn]istel; akin to D. & G. distel, OHG. distila, distil, Icel. [thorn]istill, Sw. tistel, Dan. tidsel; of uncertain origin.] (Bot.) Any one of several prickly composite plants, especially those of the genera {Cnicus}, {Craduus}, and {Onopordon}. The name is often also applied to other prickly plants. [1913 Webster]

{Blessed thistle}, {Carduus benedictus}, so named because it was formerly considered an antidote to the bite of venomous creatures.

{Bull thistle}, {Cnicus lanceolatus}, the common large thistle of neglected pastures.

{Canada thistle}, {Cnicus arvensis}, a native of Europe, but introduced into the United States from Canada.

{Cotton thistle}, {Onopordon Acanthium}.

{Fuller's thistle}, the teasel.

{Globe thistle}, {Melon thistle}, etc. See under {Globe}, {Melon}, etc.

{Pine thistle}, {Atractylis gummifera}, a native of the Mediterranean region. A vicid gum resin flows from the involucre.

{Scotch thistle}, either the cotton thistle, or the musk thistle, or the spear thistle; -- all used national emblems of Scotland.

{Sow thistle}, {Sonchus oleraceus}.

{Spear thistle}. Same as {Bull thistle}.

{Star thistle}, a species of {Centaurea}. See {Centaurea}.

{Torch thistle}, a candelabra-shaped plant of the genus Cereus. See {Cereus}.

{Yellow thistle}, {Cincus horridulus}. [1913 Webster]

{Thistle bird} (Zo["o]l.), the American goldfinch, or yellow-bird ({Spinus tristis}); -- so called on account of its feeding on the seeds of thistles. See Illust. under {Goldfinch}.

{Thistle butterfly} (Zo["o]l.), a handsomely colored American butterfly ({Vanessa cardui}) whose larva feeds upon thistles; -- called also {painted lady}.

{Thistle cock} (Zo["o]l.), the corn bunting ({Emberiza militaria}). [Prov. Eng.]

{Thistle crown}, a gold coin of England of the reign of James I., worth four shillings.

{Thistle finch} (Zo["o]l.), the goldfinch; -- so called from its fondness for thistle seeds. [Prov. Eng.]

{Thistle funnel}, a funnel having a bulging body and flaring mouth. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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