• synonyms

sow thistle

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

1200–50; Middle English sowethistel, earlier sugethistel. See sow2, thistle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sow thistle

Historical Examples

  • The Sow-thistle is considered by astrologers to be under the dominion of Venus.

    Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics

    Richard Folkard

  • In its channel I saw some of the milk or sow-thistle plant growing—the Sonchus oleraceus.

  • Two species of Sow-thistle (genus Sonchus) are included among our wayside Composites.

    Field and Woodland Plants

    William S. Furneaux

British Dictionary definitions for sow thistle

sow thistle

  1. 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
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Word Origin

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