[ this-uhl ]
/ ˈθɪs əl /


any of various prickly, composite plants having showy, purple flower heads, especially of the genera Cirsium, Carduus, or Onopordum.
any of various other prickly plants.

Origin of thistle

before 900; Middle English thistel,Old English; cognate with Dutch distel,German Distel,Old Norse thistill


this·tle·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for thistle

British Dictionary definitions for thistle (1 of 2)

/ (ˈθɪsəl) /


any of numerous plants of the genera Cirsium, Carduus, and related genera, having prickly-edged leaves, pink, purple, yellow, or white dense flower heads, and feathery hairs on the seeds: family Asteraceae (composites)
a thistle, or a representation of one, as the national emblem of Scotland

Derived forms of thistle

thistly, adjective

Word Origin for thistle

Old English thīstel, related to Old Saxon, Old High German thīstil, Old Norse thīstill

British Dictionary definitions for thistle (2 of 2)

/ (ˈθɪsəl) /

noun the Thistle

(sometimes not capital)
  1. the emblem of this Order
  2. membership of this Order
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