Definition of a thorn in someone's side (or flesh) in English:

a thorn in someone's side (or flesh)


  • A source of continual annoyance or trouble:

    ‘the pastor has long been a thorn in the side of the regime’
    • ‘He's still there of course, and will no doubt continue to be a thorn in our side, but the main danger now seems to be past.’
    • ‘I'm going to be a thorn in their side until they deliver the school places, until they deliver the public transport, until they deliver the parks and the playgrounds.’
    • ‘We will continue to be a thorn in his side, keeping a close eye on him and interfering with his criminal activities.’
    • ‘Has there been a government in the last thirty years which hasn't regarded the our journalists as a thorn in its side?’
    • ‘I was a thorn in their side because I wouldn't go along with what they wanted to do.’
    • ‘A committed republican, he continued to be a thorn in Cromwell 's side, being elected to the protector's parliaments of 1654 and 1656, but prevented from taking his seat.’
    • ‘A feisty nuisance of a forward, he was a thorn in their side throughout.’
    • ‘Neighbours consider him a kind person who is ready to help others, while criminals see him as a thorn in their side.’
    • ‘His uncompromising attitude continually made him a thorn in the Establishment 's side.’
    • ‘We will continue to fight, to be there as a thorn in their side.’
    annoyance, irritant, irritation, source of irritation, source of vexation, source of annoyance, pinprick, pest, bother, trial, torment, plague, inconvenience, nuisance, menace
    aggravation, peeve, pet peeve, pain, pain in the neck, bind, bore, headache, hassle
    nyaff, skelf
    pain in the butt, nudnik, burr in someone's saddle, burr under someone's saddle
    fair cow
    pain in the arse
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