Hypertext Webster Gateway: "thorn"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

(1.) Heb. hedek (Prov. 15:19), rendered "brier" in Micah 7:4.
Some thorny plant, of the Solanum family, suitable for hedges.
This is probably the so-called "apple of Sodom," which grows
very abundantly in the Jordan valley. "It is a shrubby plant,
from 3 to 5 feet high, with very branching stems, thickly clad
with spines, like those of the English brier, with leaves very
large and woolly on the under side, and thorny on the midriff."

(2.) Heb. kotz (Gen. 3:18; Hos. 10:8), rendered _akantha_ by
the LXX. In the New Testament this word _akantha_ is also
rendered "thorns" (Matt. 7:16; 13:7; Heb. 6:8). The word seems
to denote any thorny or prickly plant (Jer. 12:13). It has been
identified with the Ononis spinosa by some.

(3.) Heb. na'atzutz (Isa. 7:19; 55:13). This word has been
interpreted as denoting the Zizyphus spina Christi, or the
jujube-tree. It is supposed by some that the crown of thorns
placed in wanton cruelty by the Roman soldiers on our Saviour's
brow before his crucifixion was plaited of branches of this
tree. It overruns a great part of the Jordan valley. It is
sometimes called the lotus-tree. "The thorns are long and sharp
and recurved, and often create a festering wound." It often
grows to a great size. (See CROWN OF {THORNS}.)

(4.) Heb. atad (Ps. 58:9) is rendered in the LXX. and Vulgate
by Rhamnus, or Lycium Europoeum, a thorny shrub, which is common
all over Palestine. From its resemblance to the box it is
frequently called the box-thorn.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Thorn \Thorn\, n. [AS. [thorn]orn; akin to OS. & OFries. thorn,
D. doorn, G. dorn, Dan. torn, Sw. t["o]rne, Icel. [thorn]orn,
Goth. [thorn]a['u]rnus; cf. Pol. tarn, Russ. tern' the
blackthorn, ternie thorns, Skr. t[.r][.n]a grass, blade of
grass. [root]53.]
1. A hard and sharp-pointed projection from a woody stem;
usually, a branch so transformed; a spine.

2. (Bot.) Any shrub or small tree which bears thorns;
especially, any species of the genus Crat[ae]gus, as the
hawthorn, whitethorn, cockspur thorn.

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

There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the
messenger of Satan to buffet me. --2 Cor. xii.

The guilt of empire, all its thorns and cares, Be
only mine. --Southern.

4. 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.

{Thorn apple} (Bot.), Jamestown weed.

{Thorn broom} (Bot.), a shrub that produces thorns.

{Thorn hedge}, a hedge of thorn-bearing trees or bushes.

{Thorn devil}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Moloch}, 2.

{Thorn hopper} (Zo["o]l.), a tree hopper ({Thelia
crat[ae]gi}) which lives on the thorn bush, apple tree,
and allied trees.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Thorn \Thorn\, v. t.
To prick, as with a thorn. [Poetic]

I am the only rose of all the stock That never thorn'd
him. --Tennyson.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: something that causes irritation and annoyance; "he's a
thorn in my flesh" [syn: {irritant}]
2: a sharp-pointed tip on a stem or leaf [syn: {spine}, {prickle},
{pricker}, {sticker}]
3: a Germanic character of runic origin

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