Definition of nettle in English:

nettle

noun

  • 1A herbaceous plant which has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs.

    • ‘Docken, like dandelion, nettle, ground elder, bindweed and couch-grass belongs to that troublesome group of wild flowers called perennial weeds.’
    • ‘But the beauty of most edible plants - nettles, dandelions, alexanders, fat hen, sorrel - is that they are so prolific they are considered a nuisance.’
    • ‘For instance, there are botanical-based hair colorants rich in herbs such as nettle, sage, red sorrel, rosemary and burdock.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Almost everyone is familiar with the nettle through its formidable sting, but few know about the important role it plays in the natural world.’
    1. 1.1 Used in names of other plants with leaves of a similar appearance to those of the nettle, e.g. dead-nettle.
      • ‘Dead nettles are ground cover perennials with leaves that are marked in silver.’
      • ‘Flea beetles also feed on many nongarden plants, including Virginia creeper, pokeweed, horse nettle, pigweed and wild mustard family plants.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Irritate or annoy (someone):

    ‘‘I was only asking,’ Jess said, nettled’
    • ‘Zimbabwe's ongoing political crisis again nettled Southern African leaders, who were wrapping up a two-day summit here yesterday.’
    • ‘That sorta nettled him a bit, but then he suddenly noticed Bridget was there, seemingly on her own.’
    • ‘O'Brian himself was always nettled by the inevitable comparison of his own works with CS Forester's Hornblower saga.’
    • ‘One remark of Don's, however, nettled me for its pre-emptive protecting of the poet.’
    • ‘It was probably your first time trying to act authoritative, since he nettled you so.’
    • ‘So it nettles me a little bit for people to question her qualifications.’
    • ‘Ray Bradbury, author of sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451, is nettled at Moore's twist on his classic title.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As irksome as they found RFE's balloon operations, the radio broadcasts nettled communist officials even more.’
    • ‘But it's clear that some of the more caustic comments about them continue to nettle Mik Pyro.’
    • ‘In conclusion, the inspector offered his resignation to the Board, being much nettled by an accusation of incompetence in the London papers.’
    • ‘A thought kept hammering over and over in his head, sort of a worry that kept nettling him.’
    • ‘Studios are understandably nettled by deals like these because they enable stars in some cases to earn more than the studio.’
    • ‘Perhaps it nettled me so much because it was so close to the truth.’
    • ‘Apparently you'll be able to tolerate me nettling you then, huh?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I am nettled by this, and, refusing his attentions walk off into the surf squaring my shoulders.’
    irritated, annoyed, cross, put out, irked, galled, vexed, exasperated, infuriated
    upset, displeased, offended, affronted, disgruntled, piqued, aggrieved, stung, huffy, in a huff
    peeved, aggravated, miffed, miffy, riled, hacked off, peed off
    irritate, annoy, irk, gall, vex, anger, exasperate, infuriate, bother, provoke
    upset, displease, offend, affront, get someone's back up, put someone's back up, disgruntle, rankle with, pique, needle, ruffle, get on someone's nerves, try someone's patience, ruffle someone's feathers, make someone's hackles rise, raise someone's hackles, chafe
    rub up the wrong way
    rankle, ride, gravel
    peeve, aggravate, miff, rile, get, get to, bug, get under someone's skin, get in someone's hair, get up someone's nose, hack off, get someone's goat, drive up the wall
    nark, get on someone's wick, give someone the hump, wind up, get across someone
    tick off
    cheesed off, browned off, brassed off, narked, eggy, not best pleased
    teed off, ticked off, sore
    vex
    rark
    piss off
    get on someone's tits
    exacerbate, hump, rasp
    pissed off
    snuffy
    View synonyms
  • 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.’

Origin

Old English netle, netele, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch netel and German Nessel. The verb dates from late Middle English.

Pronunciation:

nettle

/ˈnɛt(ə)l/