from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of piercing or pricking.
  • n. The sensation of being pierced or pricked.
  • n. A persistent or sharply painful feeling of sorrow or remorse.
  • n. A small, sharp, local pain, such as that made by a needle or bee sting.
  • n. A small mark or puncture made by a pointed object.
  • n. A pointed object, such as an ice pick, goad, or thorn.
  • n. A hare's track or footprint.
  • n. Vulgar Slang A penis.
  • n. Vulgar Slang A person regarded as highly unpleasant, especially a male.
  • transitive v. To puncture lightly.
  • transitive v. To affect with a mental or emotional pang, as of sorrow or remorse: His conscience began to prick him.
  • transitive v. To impel as if with a spur; urge on.
  • transitive v. To mark or delineate on a surface by means of small punctures: prick a pattern on a board.
  • transitive v. To pierce the quick of (a horse's hoof) while shoeing.
  • transitive v. To transplant (seedlings, for example) before final planting.
  • transitive v. To cause to stand erect or point upward: The dogs pricked their ears.
  • intransitive v. To pierce or puncture something or cause a pricking feeling.
  • intransitive v. To feel a pang or twinge from or as if from being pricked.
  • intransitive v. To spur a horse on.
  • intransitive v. To ride at a gallop.
  • intransitive v. To stand erect; point upward: The dog's ears pricked at the noise.
  • prick off Nautical To measure with dividers on a chart.
  • idiom prick up (one's) ears To listen with attentive interest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be punctured; to suffer or feel a sharp pain, as by puncture.
  • v. To run a middle seam through the cloth of a sail. (The Universal Dictionary of the English Language, 1896)
  • v. To become sharp or acid; to turn sour, as wine.
  • v. To aim at a point or mark.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which pricks, penetrates, or punctures; a sharp and slender thing; a pointed instrument; a goad; a spur, etc.; a point; a skewer.
  • n. The act of pricking, or the sensation of being pricked; a sharp, stinging pain; figuratively, remorse.
  • n. A mark made by a pointed instrument; a puncture; a point.
  • n. A point or mark on the dial, noting the hour.
  • n. The point on a target at which an archer aims; the mark; the pin.
  • n. A mark denoting degree; degree; pitch.
  • n. A mathematical point; -- regularly used in old English translations of Euclid.
  • n. The footprint of a hare.
  • n. A small roll
  • intransitive v. To be punctured; to suffer or feel a sharp pain, as by puncture.
  • intransitive v. To spur onward; to ride on horseback.
  • intransitive v. To become sharp or acid; to turn sour, as wine.
  • intransitive v. To aim at a point or mark.
  • transitive v. To pierce slightly with a sharp-pointed instrument or substance; to make a puncture in, or to make by puncturing; to drive a fine point into
  • transitive v. To fix by the point; to attach or hang by puncturing.
  • transitive v. To mark or denote by a puncture; to designate by pricking; to choose; to mark; -- sometimes with off.
  • transitive v. To mark the outline of by puncturing; to trace or form by pricking; to mark by punctured dots
  • transitive v. To ride or guide with spurs; to spur; to goad; to incite; to urge on; -- sometimes with on, or off.
  • transitive v. To affect with sharp pain; to sting, as with remorse.
  • transitive v. To make sharp; to erect into a point; to raise, as something pointed; -- said especially of the ears of an animal, as a horse or dog; and usually followed by up; -- hence, to prick up the ears, to listen sharply; to have the attention and interest strongly engaged.
  • transitive v. To render acid or pungent.
  • transitive v. To dress; to prink; -- usually with up.
  • transitive v.
  • transitive v. To run a middle seam through, as the cloth of a sail.
  • transitive v. To trace on a chart, as a ship's course.
  • transitive v.
  • transitive v. To drive a nail into (a horse's foot), so as to cause lameness.
  • transitive v. To nick.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pierce with a sharp point; puncture; wound.
  • To fix or insert by the point: as, to prick a knife into a board.
  • To transfix or impale.
  • To fasten by means of a pin or other pointed instrument; stick.
  • To pick out with or as with a needle.
  • To spur, as a horse; hence, to stimulate to action; goad; incite; impel.
  • To affect with sharp pain; sting, as with remorse or sorrow.
  • To cause to point upward; erect: said chiefly of the ears, and primarily of the pointed ears of certain animals, as the horse: generally with up: hence, to prick up the ears, to listen with eager attention, or evince eager attention.
  • To stick upon by way of decoration; stick full, as of flowers or feathers; hence, to decorate; adorn; prink.
  • To place a point, dot, or similar mark upon; mark.
  • To designate by a mark or dot; hence, to choose or select. Compare pricking for sheriffs, under pricking.
  • To mark or trace by puncturing.
  • To trace or track by the marks or footsteps, as a hare.
  • Nautical, to run a middle seam through the cloth of (a sail).
  • To aim, as at a point or mark.
  • To give a sensation as of being pricked or punctured with a sharp point; also, to have such a sensation.
  • To spur on; ride rapidly; post; speed.
  • To point upward; stand erect.
  • To dress one's self for show; prink.
  • To germinate.
  • To become acid or sour.
  • n. A slender pointed instrument or other thing capable of puncturing; something sharp-pointed.
  • n. A thorn; spine; prickle.
  • n. A skewer.
  • n. A goad. [Obsolete or prov. Eng.] The penis. [Low.] A kind of eel-spear. [Eng.]
  • n. Same as pricket, 1.
  • n. A point; dot; small mark.
  • n. Specifically— A mark used in writing or printing, as a vowel-point or a comma.
  • n. In archery, the point in the center of a target at which aim is taken; the white; also, the target itself, or, in the plural, a pair of targets, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the range.
  • n. A mark on a dial noting the hour; hence, a point of time.
  • n. A mark denoting degree; pitch; point.
  • n. A mathematical point.
  • n. In music, a note or point: so called from the dot or mark that formed its head.
  • n. The act or process of puncturing or pricking.
  • n. A puncture.
  • n. The print of the foot of a hare or deer on the ground.
  • n. plural In tanning, an appearance as of minute punctures in hides soaked in water until decomposition begins.
  • n. Figuratively, that which pierces, stings, goads, or incites the mind.
  • n. A small roll: as, a prick of spun-yarn; a prick of tobacco.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make a small hole into, as with a needle or a thorn
  • n. insulting terms of address for people who are stupid or irritating or ridiculous
  • v. deliver a sting to
  • n. the act of puncturing with a small point
  • v. raise
  • v. to cause a sharp emotional pain
  • v. cause a prickling sensation
  • v. cause a stinging pain
  • v. stab or urge on as if with a pointed stick
  • n. obscene terms for penis
  • n. a depression scratched or carved into a surface


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English prica, puncture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English prica, from Proto-Germanic. Cognate with West Frisian prik ("small hole"), Dutch prik ("point, small stick"), Icelandic prik ("dot, small stick"). Pejorative context came from prickers, or witch-hunters.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English prikken, from Old English prician



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  • Hahaha! Good grief, where are the proofreaders?

    August 20, 2008

  • *snufflesnort!*

    August 20, 2008

  • Skipvia, thank you, that made my night (and Errata).

    August 20, 2008

  • Finally, someone is willing to say what they really mean:

    "His top contenders are said to include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Less traditional choices mentioned include former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an abortion-rights supporter, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000 who now is an independent."

    -AP, Obama Veep Announcement Expected in Coming Days

    August 20, 2008

  • A tube is stuck up my prick, and a bladder carcinoma diagnosed. One does not recall Piccinni.

    - Peter Reading, C, 1984

    July 4, 2008