- any sharp point; specif., a small, sharply pointed spine lacking vascular tissue and growing from the tissue under the outer layer of a plant
- a prickly sensation; stinging or tingling
Origin of prickleMiddle English prykel from Old English pricel, earlier pricels from base of prica (see prick) + -els, instrumental suffix
transitive verb-·led, -·ling
- to prick, as with a spine or thorn
- to cause to feel a tingling sensation
- a. A small hard pointed outgrowth of the epidermis of a plant, in contrast to a modified plant organ such as a spine or thorn.b. A spine, thorn, or other small sharp structure.
- A tingling or pricking sensation: felt prickles in my leg after sitting for so long.
verbprick·led, prick·ling, prick·les
- To feel a tingling or pricking sensation: His skin prickled with fear.
- To rise or stand up like prickles: The hair on my neck prickled.
To cause a tingling or pricking sensation in: Tears prickled my eyes.
Origin of prickleMiddle English prikel from Old English pricel
(third-person singular simple present prickles, present participle prickling, simple past and past participle prickled)
- (intransitive) To feel a prickle.
- To cause someone to feel a prickle.