Advertisement

nettle (n.)

"herbaceous plant of the genus Urtica, armed with stinging hairs" (also used of other plants of the genus and of nettle-like plants, generally with a qualifying word), Middle English netle, from Old English netele, from Proto-Germanic *natilon (source also of Old Saxon netila, Middle Dutch netele, Dutch netel, German Nessel, Danish nædlæ "nettle"), diminutive of *nato-, of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *ned- "to bind, tie." "[N]ettles or plants of closely related genera such as hemp were used as a source of fiber" [Watkins].

nettle (v.)

c. 1400, netlen, "to apply nettles, to beat with nettles," from nettle (n.). Figurative sense of "irritate, provoke" is from c. 1400 (implied in nettled). Related: Nettling; nettler.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of nettle
1
nettle (v.)
sting with or as with nettles and cause a stinging pain or sensation;
Synonyms: urticate
nettle (v.)
cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations;
Synonyms: annoy / rag / get to / bother / get at / irritate / rile / nark / gravel / vex / chafe / devil
2
nettle (n.)
any of numerous plants having stinging hairs that cause skin irritation on contact (especially of the genus Urtica or family Urticaceae);
From wordnet.princeton.edu