- any plant of the genus Urtica, covered with stinging hairs.Compare nettle family.
- any of various allied or similar plants.
- to irritate, annoy, or provoke.
- to sting as a nettle does.
- grasp the nettle, Australian. to undertake or tackle an unpleasant task.
Origin of nettle
Related Words for nettledtiff, sting, pique, rile, snit, irritate, pet, pester, goad, vex, insult, disgust, annoy, ruffle, exasperate, get, roil, stew, fret, chafe
Examples from the Web for nettled
Historical Examples of nettled
"That mare'll beat him," retorted Porter, curtly, nettled by the other's cocksureness.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
No doubt from his point of view this notion was natural, but it nettled me.In the Valley
But it nettled her that everybody should be so congratulatory, and nobody surprised.Southern Lights and Shadows
A question so unexpected, nettled Solomon Daisy not a little.Barnaby Rudge
"I did not do it," said Paul, nettled at the charge, and growing red in the face.Winning His Way
Charles Carleton Coffin
- any weedy plant of the temperate urticaceous genus Urtica, such as U. dioica (stinging nettle), having serrated leaves with stinging hairs and greenish flowers
- any of various other urticaceous plants with stinging hairs or spines
- any of various plants that resemble urticaceous nettles, such as the dead-nettle, hemp nettle, and horse nettle
- grasp the nettle to attempt or approach something with boldness and courage
- to bother; irritate
- to sting as a nettle does
Word Origin for nettle
"vexed, irritated," c.1400, figurative adjectival use of past participle of nettle (v.).
stinging plant, Old English netele, from Proto-Germanic *natilon (cf. Old Saxon netila, Middle Dutch netele, Dutch netel, German Nessel, M.Da. nædlæ "nettle"), diminutive of *naton, perhaps from PIE root *ned- "to twist, knot" (see net (n.)). "[N]ettles or plants of closely related genera such as hemp were used as a source of fiber" [Watkins].