from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The pappus of the thistle, by which the achenia are borne by the wind to great distances. See cuts under thistle.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In the Chopiniana scene there is nothing to remind one of the coquetry of the doll in the lovely spirit-like creature who seems to drift on the air like a thistle-down.

    Further Pavlova

  • “They are too slight and unsolid pledges, my lord,” said the Queen; “add at least a handful of thistle-down to give them weight in the balance.”

    The Abbot

  • The majority of the people are too ignorant to know the value of a book and they regard poetry as the thistle-down of speech.

    Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions

  • “If it were not for this thistle-down —” began the leader.

    Twelve Stories and a Dream, by H. G. Wells

  • And then he saw first one and then a second great white ball, a great shining white ball like a gigantic head of thistle-down, that drove before the wind athwart the path.

    Twelve Stories and a Dream, by H. G. Wells

  • And thick and fast as thistle-down on waste land on a windy day in July, the cobweb masses were coming on.

    Twelve Stories and a Dream, by H. G. Wells

  • Jonathan Strange is perhaps a little slow on the uptake in realising that he has a powerful enemy the man with the thistle-down hair.

    Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

  • It may be that in the distance a fish describes an arc of three or four feet in the air, and there is one bright flash where it emerges, and another where it strikes the water; sometimes the whole silvery arc is revealed; or here and there, perhaps, is a thistle-down floating on its surface, which the fishes dart at and so dimple it again.


  • Something drew us back, back with an incredible swiftness, and yet as gently as a summer breeze sweeps a bit of thistle-down!

    The Moon Pool

  • Some thistle-down came on what little air there was, and pitched on his moustache more white than itself.

    Indian Summer of a Forsyte


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