verb (used with object)
Origin of thorn
Related Words for thorn in one's sidealbatross, load, duty, onus, hardship, strain, tax, difficulty, task, responsibility, trouble, anxiety, worry, concern, grievance, encumbrance, affliction, misfortune, cross, accountability
- any of various trees or shrubs having thorns, esp the hawthorn
- the wood of any of these plants
Word Origin for thorn
Old English þorn "sharp point on a stem or branch," earlier "thorny tree or plant," from Proto-Germanic *thurnuz (cf. Old Saxon thorn, Dutch doorn, Old High German dorn, German Dorn, Old Norse þorn, Gothic þaurnus), from PIE *trnus (cf. Old Church Slavonic trunu "thorn," Sanskrit trnam "blade of grass," Greek ternax "stalk of the cactus," Irish trainin "blade of grass"), from *(s)ter-n- "thorny plant," from root *ster- "stiff."
Figurative sense of "anything which causes pain" is recorded from early 13c. (thorn in the flesh is from II Cor. xii:7). Also an Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic runic letter (þ), named for the word of which it was the initial.