What does THORN mean?

Definitions for THORN

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word THORN.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. irritant, thornnoun

    something that causes irritation and annoyance

    "he's a thorn in my flesh"

  2. spine, thorn, prickle, pricker, sticker, spikeletnoun

    a small sharp-pointed tip resembling a spike on a stem or leaf

  3. thornnoun

    a Germanic character of runic origin


  1. thornnoun

    A sharp protective spine of a plant.

  2. thornnoun

    A letter of the Latin alphabet (capital: u00DE, small: þ), borrowed by Old English from the futhark to represent a dental fricative, then not distinguished from eth, but in modern use (in Icelandic and other languages, but no longer in English) used only for the voiceless dental fricative found in English thigh

  3. thornverb

    To pierce with, or as if with, a thorn

  4. Thornnoun

    for someone living near a thorn bush.

  5. Etymology: From þorn and þorn, from þurnuz, from (s)ter-n-, possibly derived from ster-. Near cognates include German Dorn and Gothic 03380330033F0342033D033F0343. Further cognates include Old Church Slavonic трънъ, Albanian drizë and Sanskrit तृण.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. THORNnoun

    Etymology: thaurns, Gothick; þorn , Saxon; doorne, Dutch.

    Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth. Gen. iii. 18.

    The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge. Mic. vii.

    Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose. John Milton.

    The guilt of empire; all its thorns and cares
    Be only mine. Thomas Southerne, Spartan Dame.


  1. thorn

    A thorn is a sharp, pointed outgrowth found on the stem or other parts of certain plants, typically serving as a protective measure against herbivores. Derived from branches or stems rather than from leaves, thorns are generally hard, woody, and may be simple or branched. They are an example of plant defensive structures and adaptations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Thornnoun

    a hard and sharp-pointed projection from a woody stem; usually, a branch so transformed; a spine

  2. Thornnoun

    any shrub or small tree which bears thorns; especially, any species of the genus Crataegus, as the hawthorn, whitethorn, cockspur thorn

  3. Thornnoun

    fig.: That which pricks or annoys as a thorn; anything troublesome; trouble; care

  4. Thornnoun

    the name of the Anglo-Saxon letter /, capital form /. It was used to represent both of the sounds of English th, as in thin, then. So called because it was the initial letter of thorn, a spine

  5. Thornverb

    to prick, as with a thorn


  1. Thorn

    Thorn or þorn is a letter in the Old English, Gothic, Old Norse, and Icelandic alphabets, as well as some dialects of Middle English. It was also used in medieval Scandinavia, but was later replaced with the digraph th, except in Iceland where it survives. The letter originated from the rune ᚦ in the Elder Fuþark, called thorn in the Anglo-Saxon and thorn or thurs in the Scandinavian rune poems, its reconstructed Proto-Germanic name being Thurisaz. It has the sound of either a voiceless dental fricative [θ], like th as in the English word thick, or a voiced dental fricative [ð], like th as in the English word the. Modern Icelandic usage generally excludes the latter, which is instead represented with the letter eth; however, [ð] may occur as an allophone of /þ/ when ⟨þ⟩ appears in an unstressed pronoun or adverb after a voiced sound. Typographically, the lower case thorn character is unusual in that it has both an ascender and a descender.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Thorn

    thorn, n. a sharp, woody spine on the stem of a plant: a spine: a plant having spines or thorns: anything prickly or troublesome.—ns. Thorn′-app′le, a plant of genus Datura: a haw, a thorn-tree; Thorn′back, a species of ray or skate which has nail-like crooked spines in its back; Thorn′bill, a variety of humming-bird with short, straight bill; Thorn′-bush, a shrub producing thorns; Thorn′-hedge, a hedge of hawthorn.—adjs. Thorn′less, without thorns; Thorn′set, set or beset with thorns; Thorn′y, full of thorns: prickly: troublesome: harassing (A.S. thorniht).—Thorn in the flesh, any cause of constant irritation, from 2 Cor. xii. 7. [A.S. thorn; Ice. thorn, Ger. dorn.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Thorn

    a town and fortress of the first rank in West Prussia, on the Vistula, 115 m. NW. of Warsaw; formerly a member of the Hanseatic League (q. v.); was annexed by Prussia in 1815; the birthplace of Copernicus; carries on a brisk trade in corn and timber.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. thorn

    A fortified town of the kingdom of Prussia, in the province of West Prussia, on the right bank of the Vistula. It is defended by walls, bastions, and two forts. This town was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1232, and admitted into the Hanseatic League in the beginning of the 14th century. It was taken by Charles XII. of Sweden in 1703, after a siege of four months.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. THORN

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Thorn is ranked #3569 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Thorn surname appeared 9,988 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 3 would have the surname Thorn.

    83.8% or 8,370 total occurrences were White.
    9.7% or 978 total occurrences were Black.
    2.2% or 224 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.9% or 191 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.8% or 188 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.3% or 37 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

Anagrams for THORN »

  1. north

  2. North

  3. Rt Hon

How to pronounce THORN?

How to say THORN in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of THORN in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of THORN in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of THORN in a Sentence

  1. Persian Proverb:

    He who wants a rose must respect the thorn.

  2. Milan Vaishnav:

    While Delhi is not very significant in electoral terms, a BJP loss there shatters the popular narrative around the BJP's invincibility, a loss in Delhi certainly signals an end to Modi's honeymoon. Furthermore, because it is the capital city, an opposition government, especially one led by the confrontational AAP, would be a constant thorn in the Modi government's side.

  3. James Russell Lowell:

    One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.

  4. Kenneth Hare:

    The Puritan through life’s sweet garden goes to pluck the thorn and cast away the rose.

  5. Michele Bachmann:

    I don't know who's going to miss me more when I leave Congress -- Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner -- I have no idea! I've been a thorn, I think, in both of their sides.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for THORN

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"THORN." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/THORN>.

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    cloth coverings wrapped around something (as a wound or a baby)
    A swathing
    B slur
    C preponderance
    D squint-eye

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