[prik-uh l]
See more synonyms for prickle on
  1. a sharp point.
  2. a small, pointed process growing from the bark of a plant.
  3. a sharp process or projection, as from the skin of an animal; a spine.
  4. a pricking sensation.
verb (used with object), prick·led, prick·ling.
  1. to prick lightly.
  2. to cause a pricking or tingling sensation in.
verb (used without object), prick·led, prick·ling.
  1. to tingle as if pricked.

Origin of prickle

before 950; Middle English prykel (noun), Old English pricel. See prick, -le
Related formsun·prick·led, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prickling

Historical Examples of prickling

British Dictionary definitions for prickling


  1. botany a pointed process arising from the outer layer of a stem, leaf, etc, and containing no woody or conducting tissueCompare thorn (def. 1)
  2. a pricking or stinging sensation
  1. to feel or cause to feel a stinging sensation
  2. (tr) to prick, as with a thorn

Word Origin for prickle

Old English pricel; related to Middle Low German prekel, German Prickel
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

Word Origin and History for prickling



Old English pricel "thing to prick with, goad, point," from the same source as Old English prician (see prick (v.)) with instrumental suffix -el (cf. Middle Low German prickel, Dutch prikkel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper