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[spahy-kee] /ˈspaɪ ki/
adjective, spikier, spikiest.
having a spike or spikes.
having the form of a spike; spikelike.
acid or peevish in temper or mood; prickly.
Origin of spiky
1570-80; spike1 + -y1
Related forms
spikily, adverb
spikiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spiky
  • He's fortyish, lean and tall, with spiky hair and expensive-looking eyewear.
  • spiky defensiveness has given way to profuse apologies.
  • Apparently the fruit's sweet, creamy center is a treasure worth pursuing if you can bear the stink and get past the spiky husk.
  • When the hot lava met the cold water it cooled and hardened, creating the spiky headlands and narrow bays seen today.
  • His look now is gelled and spiky, with a beard and untucked shirt.
  • Stinging wasps, toxic spiders, and spiky caterpillars are all on the mantids' menu.
  • From there, it was a steep scramble up terrain snarled with thickets of slide alder and spiky devil's club.
  • They are scaleless fish and usually have rough to spiky skin.
  • Each spiky point is a subdued representation of the magnetic lines.
  • spiky yucca punctuates this conservation garden visitable by appointment.
British Dictionary definitions for spiky


adjective spikier, spikiest
resembling a spike
having a spike or spikes
(Brit, informal) ill-tempered
characterized by violent or aggressive methods: spiky protestors
Derived Forms
spikily, adverb
spikiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spiky

1720, from spike (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Spikiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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