1. any of numerous plants of the family Compositae and especially of the genera Carduus and Cirsium and Onopordum having prickly-edged leaves
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Thistle \This"tle\, n. [OE. thistil, AS. [thorn]istel; akin to
D. & G. distel, OHG. distila, distil, Icel. [thorn]istill,
Sw. tistel, Dan. tidsel; of uncertain origin.] (Bot.)
Any one of several prickly composite plants, especially those
of the genera Cnicus, Craduus, and Onopordon. The name
is often also applied to other prickly plants.
Blessed thistle, Carduus benedictus, so named because it
was formerly considered an antidote to the bite of
Bull thistle, Cnicus lanceolatus, the common large
thistle of neglected pastures.
Canada thistle, Cnicus arvensis, a native of Europe, but
introduced into the United States from Canada.
Cotton thistle, Onopordon Acanthium.
Fuller's thistle, the teasel.
Globe thistle, Melon thistle, etc. See under Globe,
Pine thistle, Atractylis gummifera, a native of the
Mediterranean region. A vicid gum resin flows from the
Scotch thistle, either the cotton thistle, or the musk
thistle, or the spear thistle; -- all used national
emblems of Scotland.
Sow thistle, Sonchus oleraceus.
Spear thistle. Same as Bull thistle.
Star thistle, a species of Centaurea. See Centaurea.
Torch thistle, a candelabra-shaped plant of the genus
Cereus. See Cereus.
Yellow thistle, Cincus horridulus.
Thistle bird (Zool.), the American goldfinch, or
yellow-bird (Spinus tristis); -- so called on account of
its feeding on the seeds of thistles. See Illust. under
Thistle butterfly (Zool.), a handsomely colored American
butterfly (Vanessa cardui) whose larva feeds upon
thistles; -- called also painted lady.
Thistle cock (Zool.), the corn bunting (Emberiza
militaria). [Prov. Eng.]
Thistle crown, a gold coin of England of the reign of James
I., worth four shillings.
Thistle finch (Zool.), the goldfinch; -- so called from its
fondness for thistle seeds. [Prov. Eng.]
Thistle funnel, a funnel having a bulging body and flaring
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: any of numerous plants of the family Compositae and
especially of the genera Carduus and Cirsium and Onopordum
having prickly-edged leaves
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
71 Moby Thesaurus words for "thistle":
armory, badge, badge of office, badges, baton, blazonry, bramble,
brassard, brier, bristle, burr, button, cactus, cap and gown,
catchweed, chain, chain of office, class ring, cleavers, cockade,
collar, cross, decoration, dress, eagle, emblems, ensigns, fasces,
figurehead, fleur-de-lis, goose grass, hammer and sickle, heraldry,
insignia, lapel pin, livery, mace, mantle, markings, medal,
mortarboard, needle, nettle, old school tie, pin, pine needle,
prickle, quill, regalia, ring, rose, school ring, shamrock,
sigillography, skull and crossbones, sphragistics, spicule,
spiculum, spike, spikelet, spine, staff, sticker, swastika, tartan,
thorn, tie, uniform, verge, wand, yucca
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
(1.) Heb. hoah (2 Kings 14:9; Job 31:40). In Job 41:2 the Hebrew
word is rendered "thorn," but in the Revised Version "hook." It
is also rendered "thorn" in 2 Chr. 33:11; Prov. 26:9; Cant. 2:2;
"brambles" in Isa. 34:13. It is supposed to be a variety of the
wild plum-tree, but by some it is regarded as the common
thistle, of which there are many varieties in Palestine.
(2.) Heb. dardar, meaning "a plant growing luxuriantly" (Gen.
3:18; Hos. 10:8); Gr. tribolos, "a triple point" (Matt. 7:16;
Heb. 6:8, "brier," R.V. "thistle"). This was probably the
star-thistle, called by botanists Centaurea calcitropa, or
"caltrops," a weed common in corn-fields. (See THORNS.)