a puncture made by a needle, thorn, or the like.
a sharp point; prickle.
the act of pricking: the prick of a needle.
the state or sensation of being pricked.
a sharp pain caused by or as if by being pricked; twinge.
the pointed end of a prickspur.
an obnoxious or contemptible person.
Archaic. a goad for oxen.
Obsolete. a small or minute mark, a dot, or a point.
Obsolete. any pointed instrument or weapon.
to pierce with a sharp point; puncture.
to affect with sharp pain, as from piercing.
to cause sharp mental pain to; sting, as with remorse, anger, etc.: His conscience pricked him.
to urge on with or as if with a goad or spur: My duty pricks me on.
to mark (a surface) with pricks or dots in tracing something.
to mark or trace (something) on a surface by pricks or dots.
to cause to stand erect or point upward (usually followed by up): The dog pricked his ears at the sound of the bell.
to lame (a horse) by driving a nail improperly into its hoof.
to nick: to prick a horse's tail.
to measure (distance, the size of an area, etc.) on a chart with dividers (usually followed by off).
Horticulture. to transplant (a seedling) into a container that provides more room for growth (usually followed by out or off).
to perform the action of piercing or puncturing something.
to have a sensation of being pricked.
to spur or urge a horse on; ride rapidly.
to rise erect or point upward, as the ears of an animal (usually followed by up).
Idioms about prick
kick against the pricks, to resist incontestable facts or authority; protest uselessly: In appealing the case again, you will just be kicking against the pricks.
prick up one's ears, to become very alert; listen attentively: The reporter pricked up his ears at the prospect of a scoop.
- pricker, noun
- prick·ing·ly, adverb
- un·pricked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use prick in a sentence
His neck is always craned, ears pricked, waiting for cymbal splash of Art happening.Geoff Dyer Takes on Andrei Tarkovsky’s Film ‘Stalker’ in ‘Zona’ | Chris Wallace | February 25, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
My ears pricked up when she casually mentioned that she never drove before moving to Krabi a few months prior.
The Arab pricked his ears, swished his long and arched tail viciously, and showed the whites of his eyes.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
The horses pricked up their ears, snuffed the night air wildly, and showed every symptom of being ill at ease.Hunting the Lions | R.M. Ballantyne
Wonder if he's any relation to the man who pricked his fingers picking pickled peppers!Dorothy at Skyrie | Evelyn Raymond
British Dictionary definitions for prick
to make (a small hole) in (something) by piercing lightly with a sharp point
to wound in this manner
(intr) to cause or have a piercing or stinging sensation
to cause to feel a sharp emotional pain: knowledge of such poverty pricked his conscience
to puncture or pierce
to mark, delineate, or outline by dots or punctures
(also intr usually foll by up) to rise or raise erect; point: the dog pricked his ears up at his master's call
(usually foll by out or off) to transplant (seedlings) into a larger container
(often foll by off) nautical to measure or trace (a course, distance, etc) on a chart with dividers
archaic to rouse or impel; urge on
(intr) archaic to ride fast on horseback; spur a horse on
prick up one's ears to start to listen attentively; become interested
the act of pricking or the condition or sensation of being pricked
a mark made by a sharp point; puncture
a sharp emotional pain resembling the physical pain caused by being pricked: a prick of conscience
a taboo slang word for penis
slang, derogatory an obnoxious or despicable man
an instrument or weapon with a sharp point, such as a thorn, goad, bee sting, etc
the footprint or track of an animal, esp a hare
obsolete a small mark caused by pricking a surface; dot; point
kick against the pricks to hurt oneself by struggling against something in vain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012