thorn in their flesh

thorn

[thawrn]
noun
1.
a sharp excrescence on a plant, especially a sharp-pointed aborted branch; spine; prickle.
2.
any of various thorny shrubs or trees, especially the hawthorns belonging to the genus Crataegus, of the rose family.
3.
the wood of any of these trees.
4.
a runic character (þ), borrowed into the Latin alphabet and representing the initial th sounds in thin and they in Old English, or thin in modern Icelandic.
5.
something that wounds, annoys, or causes discomfort.
verb (used with object)
6.
to prick with a thorn; vex.
Idioms
7.
thorn in one's side/flesh, a source of continual irritation or suffering: That child is a thorn in the teacher's side.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English (noun), Old English; cognate with Dutch doorn, German Dorn, Old Norse thorn, Gothic thaurnus

thornless, adjective
thornlike, adjective
unthorn, verb (used with object)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
thorn (θɔːn)
 
n
1.  Compare prickle a sharp pointed woody extension of a stem or leaf
2.  a.  any of various trees or shrubs having thorns, esp the hawthorn
 b.  the wood of any of these plants
3.  short for thorn moth
4.  See theta a Germanic character of runic origin Þ used in Old and Modern Icelandic to represent the voiceless dental fricative sound of th, as in thin, bath. Its use in phonetics for the same purpose is now obsolete
5.  Compare edh this same character as used in Old and Middle English as an alternative to edh, but indistinguishable from it in function or sound
6.  zoology any of various sharp spiny parts
7.  a source of irritation (esp in the phrases a thorn in one's sideorflesh)
 
[Old English; related to Old High German dorn, Old Norse thorn]
 
'thornless
 
adj

Thorn (toːrn)
 
n
the German name for Toruń

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

thorn
O.E. þorn "sharp point on a stem or branch," earlier "thorny tree or plant," from P.Gmc. *thurnuz (cf. O.S. thorn, Du. doorn, O.H.G. dorn, Ger. Dorn, O.N. þorn, Goth. þaurnus), from PIE *trnus (cf. O.C.S. trunu "thorn," Skt. trnam "blade of grass," Gk. ternax "stalk of the cactus,"
Ir. trainin "blade of grass"), from *(s)ter-n- "thorny plant," from base *ster- "stiff." Fig. sense of "anything which causes pain" is recorded from c.1230 (thorn in the flesh is from II Cor. xii.7). Also an O.E. and Icelandic runic letter (þ), named for the word of which it was the initial. Thorny is O.E. þornig; fig. sense is attested from c.1340.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
thorn   (thôrn)  Pronunciation Key 
A short, hard, pointed part of a stem or branch of a woody plant. Compare spine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Thorn definition


(1.) Heb. hedek (Prov. 15:19), rendered "brier" in Micah 7:4. Some thorny plant, of the Solanum family, suitable for hedges. This is probably the so-called "apple of Sodom," which grows very abundantly in the Jordan valley. "It is a shrubby plant, from 3 to 5 feet high, with very branching stems, thickly clad with spines, like those of the English brier, with leaves very large and woolly on the under side, and thorny on the midriff." (2.) Heb. kotz (Gen. 3:18; Hos. 10:8), rendered _akantha_ by the LXX. In the New Testament this word _akantha_ is also rendered "thorns" (Matt. 7:16; 13:7; Heb. 6:8). The word seems to denote any thorny or prickly plant (Jer. 12:13). It has been identified with the Ononis spinosa by some. (3.) Heb. na'atzutz (Isa. 7:19; 55:13). This word has been interpreted as denoting the Zizyphus spina Christi, or the jujube-tree. It is supposed by some that the crown of thorns placed in wanton cruelty by the Roman soldiers on our Saviour's brow before his crucifixion was plaited of branches of this tree. It overruns a great part of the Jordan valley. It is sometimes called the lotus-tree. "The thorns are long and sharp and recurved, and often create a festering wound." It often grows to a great size. (See CROWN OF THORNS.) (4.) Heb. atad (Ps. 58:9) is rendered in the LXX. and Vulgate by Rhamnus, or Lycium Europoeum, a thorny shrub, which is common all over Palestine. From its resemblance to the box it is frequently called the box-thorn.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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