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3 definitions found
 for thorny
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Thorny \Thorn"y\, a. [Compar. Thornier; superl. Thorniest.]
     [Cf. AS. [thorn]orniht.]
     1. Full of thorns or spines; rough with thorns; spiny; as, a
        thorny wood; a thorny tree; a thorny crown.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Like a thorn or thorns; hence, figuratively, troublesome;
        vexatious; harassing; perplexing. "The thorny point of
        bare distress." --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The steep and thorny way to heaven.   --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Thorny rest-harrow (Bot.), rest-harrow.
  
     Thorny trefoil, a prickly plant of the genus Fagonia
        ({Fagonia Cretica, etc.).
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  thorny
      adj 1: bristling with perplexities; "the thorny question of
             states' rights"
      2: having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines
         or thorns or setae etc.; "a horse with a short bristly mane";
         "bristly shrubs"; "burred fruits"; "setaceous whiskers" [syn:
         barbed, barbellate, briary, briery, bristled,
         bristly, burred, burry, prickly, setose,
         setaceous, spiny, thorny]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  72 Moby Thesaurus words for "thorny":
     Herculean, abstruse, acanaceous, acanthoid, aciculate, aculeolate,
     arduous, barbed, barbellate, brambly, briery, bristly, brutal,
     complex, complicated, controversial, critical, delicate, demanding,
     difficile, difficult, exacting, formidable, hairy, hard,
     hard-earned, hard-fought, intricate, involved, jawbreaking,
     knotted, knotty, laborious, mean, muricate, nasty, nettlesome,
     no picnic, not easy, operose, painful, pricking, prickly, pricky,
     problematic, rigorous, rough, rugged, set with thorns, setaceous,
     setose, severe, spiculate, spiculose, spiked, spinous, spiny,
     steep, sticky, stinging, strenuous, tangled, thistly, ticklish,
     toilsome, tough, tricky, troublesome, uphill, vexatious, wicked,
     worrying
  
  

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