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1A herbaceous plant which has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs.
- ‘These so-called host plants include many broadleaf weeds and cover crops such as nettles, mallow, chicory, dandelion, thistles, bindweed, deadly nightshade, and many clovers.’
- ‘But the beauty of most edible plants - nettles, dandelions, alexanders, fat hen, sorrel - is that they are so prolific they are considered a nuisance.’
- ‘Docken, like dandelion, nettle, ground elder, bindweed and couch-grass belongs to that troublesome group of wild flowers called perennial weeds.’
- ‘Almost everyone is familiar with the nettle through its formidable sting, but few know about the important role it plays in the natural world.’
- ‘For instance, there are botanical-based hair colorants rich in herbs such as nettle, sage, red sorrel, rosemary and burdock.’
- 1.1 Used in names of other plants with leaves of a similar appearance to those of the nettle, e.g. dead-nettle.
- ‘Flea beetles also feed on many nongarden plants, including Virginia creeper, pokeweed, horse nettle, pigweed and wild mustard family plants.’
- ‘Dead nettles are ground cover perennials with leaves that are marked in silver.’
1Irritate or annoy (someone)‘‘I was only asking,’ Jess said, nettled’
irritated, annoyed, cross, put out, irked, galled, vexed, exasperated, infuriatedirritate, annoy, irk, gall, vex, anger, exasperate, infuriate, bother, provokeView synonyms
- ‘It was probably your first time trying to act authoritative, since he nettled you so.’
- ‘O'Brian himself was always nettled by the inevitable comparison of his own works with CS Forester's Hornblower saga.’
- ‘Ray Bradbury, author of sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451, is nettled at Moore's twist on his classic title.’
- ‘In conclusion, the inspector offered his resignation to the Board, being much nettled by an accusation of incompetence in the London papers.’
- ‘Working as an activist outside India, one of the issues that nettled Bose, she says, was the painful question of identity that racks second-generation youth.’
- ‘Europe - both EU members and candidate countries - has split into two camps on the issue, lining up behind either France or Britain, at the risk of nettling the other.’
- ‘What will also nettle Waugh is Ricky Ponting's success as Australia's new one-day skipper.’
- ‘That sorta nettled him a bit, but then he suddenly noticed Bridget was there, seemingly on her own.’
- ‘So it nettles me a little bit for people to question her qualifications.’
- ‘Studios are understandably nettled by deals like these because they enable stars in some cases to earn more than the studio.’
- ‘I understood that Zannah was upset, and she had her reasons, but the cause of the effect didn't lie in my hands, and the way she was acting nettled me.’
- ‘Ninkovich will nettle critics of imperialism.’
- ‘As irksome as they found RFE's balloon operations, the radio broadcasts nettled communist officials even more.’
- ‘Apparently you'll be able to tolerate me nettling you then, huh?’
- ‘I am nettled by this, and, refusing his attentions walk off into the surf squaring my shoulders.’
- ‘A thought kept hammering over and over in his head, sort of a worry that kept nettling him.’
- ‘One remark of Don's, however, nettled me for its pre-emptive protecting of the poet.’
- ‘But it's clear that some of the more caustic comments about them continue to nettle Mik Pyro.’
- ‘Perhaps it nettled me so much because it was so close to the truth.’
- ‘Zimbabwe's ongoing political crisis again nettled Southern African leaders, who were wrapping up a two-day summit here yesterday.’
2archaic Sting with nettles.
- ‘I had to get into the hedge-back to take this and nettled my legs.’
- ‘The weeds on either side had been cut during the last few days, otherwise I suspect my legs would have been badly nettled.’
grasp the nettle
Tackle a difficulty boldly.
- ‘Still, grasping the nettle like this is probably his only chance, slim though it is.’
- ‘We have not grasped the nettle and got down to reorganising how our services are delivered - 99 per cent of staff want to do that but we haven't been able to.’
- ‘I think the Government has really grasped the nettle, because this is a major issue for everybody now.’
- ‘Tackling mental health, grasping the nettle of introducing rights-based legislation will come at a cost.’
- ‘They have had ten years to see it coming and, if they had only grasped the nettle, providing separate areas and adequate ventilation, all could have co-existed in relative peace and mutual comfort.’
- ‘He warned the country could be facing another crisis unless the next Government grasps the nettle of public spending.’
- ‘He said: ‘I am pleased that the Prime Minister is now re-examining my proposals but we shall see whether the Government really grasps the nettle regarding this issue.’’
- ‘But she said: ‘I cannot accept the fact that no one grasped the nettle and took charge of clarifying the issue.’’
- ‘The problems facing it will only get worse until someone grasps the nettle.’
- ‘The new parish council is grasping the nettle to deal with vandalism.’
- see grasp
Old English netle, netele, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch netel and German Nessel. The verb dates from late Middle English.
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