a sharp point.
a small, pointed process growing from the bark of a plant.
a sharp process or projection, as from the skin of an animal; a spine.
a pricking sensation.
verb (used with object), prickled, prickling.
to prick lightly.
to cause a pricking or tingling sensation in.
verb (used without object), prickled, prickling.
to tingle as if pricked.

before 950; Middle English prykel (noun), Old English pricel. See prick, -le

unprickled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prickle (ˈprɪkəl)
1.  botany Compare thorn a pointed process arising from the outer layer of a stem, leaf, etc, and containing no woody or conducting tissue
2.  a pricking or stinging sensation
3.  to feel or cause to feel a stinging sensation
4.  (tr) to prick, as with a thorn
[Old English pricel; related to Middle Low German prekel, German Prickel]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. pricel "thing to prick with," from the same source as O.E. prician (see prick) with W.Gmc. instrumental suffix *-islja (cf. M.L.G. prickel, Du. prikkel). Prickly "spiny, armed with prickles" is from 1578 (originally of holly leaves); fig. sense of "irritable" first recorded
1862. Prickly heat is from 1736, so called for the sensation; prickly pear is from 1760.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They can't really prickle you if you don't take offense at their thoughtless offhand comments.
Film-goers have seen the lizards and the blazing rocks, have heard the didgeridoo, have felt their scalps prickle.
Many felt their skin prickle and were told to scrub down.
She felt a prickle on the back of her neck, a shiver of foreboding.
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