See more synonyms for thorny on Thesaurus.com adjective, thorn·i·er, thorn·i·est.
- abounding in or characterized by thorns; spiny; prickly.
- overgrown with thorns or brambles.
- painful; vexatious: a thorny predicament.
- full of difficulties, complexities, or controversial points: a thorny question.
Origin of thorny
before 1000; Middle English; Old English thornig.Related formsthorn·i·ly, adverbthorn·i·ness, nounun·thorn·y, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for thorny
adjective thornier or thorniestDerived Formsthornily, adverbthorniness, noun
- bearing or covered with thorns
- difficult or unpleasanta thorny problem
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for thorny
Old English þornig; see thorn + -y (2). Figurative sense is attested from mid-14c. Related: Thorniness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper