- The definition of a prick is a very small hole made by something sharp.
An example of a prick is what you'd have in your thumb after accidently stabbing yourself with a needle.
- To prick is to use a sharp point to make a small hole.
An example of prick is for a rose bush thorn to stick into your finger.
- a very small puncture or, formerly, dot, made by a sharp point
- Archaic any of various pointed objects, as a thorn, goad, etc.
- a sharp pain caused by or as if by being pricked
- Slang, Vulgar the penis
- Slang a person, esp. a man, regarded as contemptible, obnoxious, etc.: mildly vulgar
Origin of prickMiddle English prike ; from Old English prica, point, dot, akin to Dutch prik, Middle High German pfrecken
- to make (a tiny hole) in (something) with a sharp point
- to cause or feel sharp pain in: remorse pricked his conscience
- to mark or trace by dots, points, or punctures
- to pierce (a horse's foot) to the quick in shoeing, causing lameness
- to cause to point or stick up: often with up
- Archaic to spur or urge on; goad; incite
- to cause or feel a slight, sharp pain
- to have a prickly or stinging sensation; tingle
- to point or stick up: said esp. of ears
- Archaic to spur a horse on; ride fast
prick up one's ears
- to raise the ears with the points upward: said of an animal
- to listen closely
- a. The act of piercing or pricking.b. The sensation of being pierced or pricked.
- a. A persistent or sharply painful feeling of sorrow or remorse.b. A small, sharp, local pain, such as that made by a needle or bee sting.
- A small mark or puncture made by a pointed object.
- A pointed object, such as an ice pick, goad, or thorn.
- Chiefly British A hare's track or footprint.
- Vulgar Slang A penis.
- Vulgar Slang A person considered to be mean or contemptible, especially a man.
verbpricked, prick·ing, pricks
- a. To puncture lightly.b. To make (a hole) by puncturing something.
- To spur (a horse).
- To affect with a mental or emotional pang, as of sorrow or remorse: criticism that pricked his conscience.
- To impel as if with a spur; stimulate or provoke.
- To mark or delineate on a surface by means of small punctures: prick a pattern on a board.
- To pierce the quick of (a horse's hoof) while shoeing.
- To transplant (seedlings, for example) before final planting.
- To cause to stand erect or point upward: The dogs pricked their ears.
- To pierce or puncture something or cause a pricking feeling.
- To feel a pang or twinge from being pricked.
- a. To spur a horse on.b. To ride at a gallop.
- To stand erect; point upward: The dog's ears pricked at the noise.
Origin of prickMiddle English, from Old English prica, puncture.
- A small hole or perforation, caused by piercing. [from 10th c.]
- An indentation or small mark made with a pointed object. [from 10th c.]
- A small pointed object. [from 10th c.]
- The experience or feeling of being pierced or punctured by a small, sharp object. [from 13th c.]
- I felt a sharp prick as the nurse took a sample of blood.
- (slang, vulgar) The penis. [from 16th c.]
- (slang, pejorative) Someone (especially a man or boy) who is unpleasant, rude or annoying. [from 16th c.]
- (now historical) A small roll of yarn or tobacco. [from 17th c.]
- The footprint of a hare.
From Middle English prik, prikke, from Old English prica, pricu (â€œa sharp point, minute mark, spot, dot, small portion, prickâ€), from Proto-Germanic *prik- (â€œa prick, pointâ€). Cognate with West Frisian prik (â€œsmall holeâ€), Dutch prik (â€œpoint, small stickâ€), Danish prik (â€œdotâ€), Icelandic prik (â€œdot, small stickâ€). Pejorative context came from prickers, or witch-hunters.
(third-person singular simple present pricks, present participle pricking, simple past and past participle pricked)
- To pierce or puncture slightly. [from 11th c.]
- John hardly felt the needle prick his arm when the adept nurse drew blood.
- To form by piercing or puncturing.
- to prick holes in paper
- to prick a pattern for embroidery
- to prick the notes of a musical composition
- (intransitive, dated) To be punctured; to suffer or feel a sharp pain, as by puncture.
- A sore finger pricks.
- To incite, stimulate, goad. [from 13th c.]
- To affect with sharp pain; to sting, as with remorse.
- (intransitive, archaic) To urge one's horse on; to ride quickly. [from 14th c.]
- (chiefly nautical) To mark the surface of (something) with pricks or dots; especially, to trace a shipâ€™s course on (a chart). [from 16th c.]
- To make acidic or pungent.
- (intransitive) To become sharp or acid; to turn sour, as wine.
- To aim at a point or mark.
- To fix by the point; to attach or hang by puncturing.
- to prick a knife into a board
- Sir Walter Scott
- Let the soldiers for duty be carefully pricked off.
- Those many, then, shall die: their names are pricked.
- To make sharp; to erect into a point; to raise, as something pointed; said especially of the ears of an animal, such as a horse or dog; and usually followed by up.
- (farriery) To drive a nail into (a horse's foot), so as to cause lameness.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Websterâ€™s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.