Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having many thorns or abounding in thorn-covered vegetation.
  • adjective Spiny or prickly.
  • adjective Controversial, problematic, or vexatious.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Abounding in or covered with thorns; producing thorns; prickly; spiny.
  • Characteristic of or resembling a thorn; sharp; irritating; painful.
  • In zoology, spinous; prickly; echinate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Full of thorns or spines; rough with thorns; spiny.
  • adjective Like a thorn or thorns; hence, figuratively, troublesome; vexatious; harassing; perplexing.
  • adjective (Bot.) rest-harrow.
  • adjective a prickly plant of the genus Fagonia (Fagonia Cretica, etc.).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective having thorns or spines
  • adjective troublesome or vexatious

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

  • adjective bristling with perplexities
  • adjective having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines or thorns or setae etc.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Far more thorny is the question of whether casual sex, or any sex outside marriage, is emotionally harmful.

    Sex, science and statistics Boing Boing

  • "Far more thorny is the question of whether casual sex, or any sex outside marriage, is emotionally harmful."

    Sex, science and statistics Boing Boing

  • Far more thorny is the question of whether casual sex, or any sex outside marriage, is emotionally harmful.

    Sex, science and statistics Boing Boing

  • Especially interesting will be how Biden may be willing to take on a certain thorny issue, spoken in low whispers now.

    Blogtalk: The Biden Factor - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Then there are animals that get tangled up in thorny or spiky vegetation.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • Up close the island turned out to be covered in thorny scrub and seagulls’ nests.

    Going Coastal

  • Up close the island turned out to be covered in thorny scrub and seagulls’ nests.

    Going Coastal

  • There is no situation, however thorny, which is not saved by politeness.

    The Ancient Regime

  • Mr Obama's remarks on trade referred to the thorny issue of China's undervalued currency, with the perceived unfairness of China's trade policies the subject of increasingly strident election campaign rhetoric.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph

  • I've sucked down a filthy and delicious* one at a teriyaki joint in Hollywood, and I've loved the cheeseburger hiding between the carnitas and pibil at my local (and truly excellent) reader had found a rose among what one could fairly describe as the thorny situation of a Korean-California fusion lounge, my burger senses started tingling.

    A Hamburger Today

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