Word of the Day Archive
Saturday June 28, 2003
nettlesome \NET-l-suhm\ , adjective:
Causing irritation, vexation, or distress.
Unlike important men of affairs, novelists can turn midnight into sunrise and solve nettlesome world problems wherever their imaginations decree.
-- Herbert Mitgang, "Tales of a Tortured Holy Land", New York Times, August 16, 1988
They were certain that this problem, like so many other nettlesome problems, did not ever have to be faced, but could be quietly made to go away.
-- Lisa Belkin, Show Me a Hero
In the absence of any general agreement about these nettlesome issues, each school and local district arrived at its own answers.
-- Diane Ravitch, Left Back
Nettlesome is from the verb nettle, "to sting; to irritate or vex" (from nettle, a plant covered with minute sharp, stinging hairs) + -some.