sow thistle



any composite plant belonging to the genus Sonchus, especially S. oleraceus, a weed having thistlelike leaves, yellow flowers, and a milky juice.

Origin of sow thistle

1200–50; Middle English sowethistel, earlier sugethistel. See sow2, thistle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of sow thistle

British Dictionary definitions for sow thistle

sow thistle


any of various plants of the Old World genus Sonchus, esp S. oleraceus, having milky juice, prickly leaves, and heads of yellow flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)Also called: milk thistle, (NZ) puha, (NZ) rauriki

Word Origin for sow thistle

C13: from sugethistel, perhaps variant of Old English thugethistel, thuthistel thowthistle, a dialect name of the sow thistle. See sow ², thistle
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