What does thorn mean?

Definitions for thorn

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word thorn.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. irritant, thorn(noun)

    something that causes irritation and annoyance

    "he's a thorn in my flesh"

  2. spine, thorn, prickle, pricker, sticker, spikelet(noun)

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

  3. thorn(noun)

    a Germanic character of runic origin


  1. thorn(Noun)

    A sharp protective spine of a plant.

  2. thorn(Noun)

    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. thorn(Verb)

    To pierce with, or as if with, a thorn

  4. Thorn(ProperNoun)

    for someone living near a thorn bush.

  5. Origin: 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.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Thorn(noun)

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

  2. Thorn(noun)

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

  3. Thorn(noun)

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

  4. Thorn(noun)

    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. Thorn(verb)

    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.

Anagrams for thorn »

  1. Rt Hon

  2. north, North

  3. North, north, Rt Hon

How to pronounce thorn?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say thorn in sign language?

  1. thorn


  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. Matshona Dhliwayo:

    One man's thorn is another man's rose.

  3. Matshona Dhliwayo:

    A thorn in your side is better than a thorn in your soul.

  4. James Russell Lowell:

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

  5. Saadi:

    The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together.

Images & Illustrations of thorn

  1. thornthornthornthornthorn

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for thorn

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for thorn »


Find a translation for the thorn definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss these thorn definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"thorn." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 21 Sep. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/thorn>.

Are we missing a good definition for thorn? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for thorn:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.