AskDefine | Define prickly

Dictionary Definition

prickly adj
1 very irritable; "bristly exchanges between the White House and the press"; "he became prickly and spiteful"; "witty and waspish about his colleagues" [syn: bristly, splenetic, waspish]
2 having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines or thorns or setae etc.; "a horse with a short bristly mane"; "bristly shrubs"; "burred fruits"; "setaceous whiskers" [syn: barbed, barbellate, briary, briery, bristled, bristly, burred, burry, setose, setaceous, spiny, thorny] [also: prickliest, pricklier]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Covered with sharp points.
    Prickly pear is a cactus, you have to peal it before eating it to remove the spines and the tough skin.
  2. Easily irritated.
    He has a prickly personality. He doesn't get along with people because he is easily set off.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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