AskDefine | Define thorny

Dictionary Definition

thorny adj
1 bristling with perplexities; "the thorny question of states' rights"
2 having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines or thorns or setae etc.; "a horse with a short bristly mane"; "bristly shrubs"; "burred fruits"; "setaceous whiskers" [syn: barbed, barbellate, briary, briery, bristled, bristly, burred, burry, prickly, setose, setaceous, spiny] [also: thorniest, thornier]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK) /ˈθɔːni/, /"TO:ni/
  • (US) /ˈθɔɹni/, /"TOrni/


  1. having thorns or spines
  2. troublesome or vexatious

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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