A Word A Day : Nettle

Monday, 28th April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Verb & Noun )

Pronunciation : nétt'l

Past and past participle : nettled
Present participle : nettling
3rd person present singular : nettles


1. a wild plant with serrated-edged leaves covered with fine hairs or spines that sting when touched. Native to: found worldwide. Genus Urtica.

2. a wild plant with serrated leaves like a stinging nettle, but without the stinging hairs, especially a dead nettle. Native to: northern temperate regions. Genus Lamium.

3. to irritate or annoy somebody ( informal )

4. to sting somebody with a nettle leaf

NOTE : The young leaves of the stinging nettle Urtica dioica can be cooked as a vegetable and used to make nettle beer. The common name nettle is taken from the Anglo-Saxon word noedl meaning needle.


Old English netele - Indo-European - to tie


aggravate, annoy, bother, bug, chafe, disturb, exasperate, fret, gall2, get, irk, irritate, peeve, provoke


appease, mollify, please

Contextual Examples:

• Her loud singing of television commercials soon began to nettle him.

• The sensation was as bad as that from a nettle, but more like that caused by the Physalia or Portuguese man-of-war.

• Then he shot the arrow and fell back and would have died, but he lit on a nettle and sprang up too gaily for a corpse.

Related Words:

nettlelike : Adjective

nettler : Noun

nettly : Adjective

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