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spiny

[spahy-nee] /ˈspaɪ ni/
adjective, spinier, spiniest.
1.
abounding in or having spines; thorny, as a plant.
2.
covered with or having sharp-pointed processes, as an animal.
3.
in the form of a spine; resembling a spine; spinelike.
4.
troublesome or difficult to handle; thorny:
a spiny problem.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; spine + -y1
Related forms
spininess, noun
nonspiny, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for spiny
  • The sharp edges of the blue spiny lizard will not protect it against climate change.
  • And so it has to be a spiny form of foliage, but held on the tree in such a way as not to collect snow.
  • In a species of spiny-headed worm, males use their cements on each other, trying to gum up their rivals.
  • When attacking sea urchins, triggers often flip them over, exposing their less spiny undersides.
  • Other important parts of the tropical region are dry tropical forests, tropical deciduous forests, and spiny desert regions.
  • Plants pollinated by fast-moving bees or flies may have spiny pollen that lodges easily between the insects' hairs.
  • Some males embrace females with spiny claspers in a viselike grip that causes damage.
  • Small animals such as the spiny water flea can travel unnoticed by hopping onto a kayak or other recreational equipment.
  • They do not spin webs but simply run down prey and grab them with their spiny legs.
  • The green spiny cactus contrasts with the exotic deep reds and oranges of the delicate bougainvillea.
British Dictionary definitions for spiny

spiny

/ˈspaɪnɪ/
adjective spinier, spiniest
1.
(of animals) having or covered with quills or spines
2.
(of plants) covered with spines; thorny
3.
troublesome to handle; puzzling
4.
shaped like a spine
Derived Forms
spininess, 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 spiny
adj.

1580s, from spine + -y (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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