[ this-uhl-doun ]

  1. the mature, silky pappus of a thistle.

Origin of thistledown

First recorded in 1555–65; thistle + down2

Words Nearby thistledown Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use thistledown in a sentence

  • Still he clung to the little thistledown of hope that he should have plenty of time to cram it before the form were called up.

    Eric, or Little by Little | Frederic W. Farrar
  • For Winnie, dark as Kathlyn was light, was as careless and aimless as thistledown in the wind.

    The Adventures of Kathlyn | Harold MacGrath
  • The combined burden would lie light as thistledown on my shoulders.

  • It was yesterday but a straw—to-day it is but the thistledown; but I will cling to it to the last moment.

  • Tireless as thistledown that rolls here and there at the will of the wind, up she sprang and began to dance.

    Lazarre | Mary Hartwell Catherwood

British Dictionary definitions for thistledown


/ (ˈθɪsəlˌdaʊn) /

  1. the mass of feathery plumed seeds produced by a thistle

  2. anything resembling this

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