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prickly (adj.)

1570s, "spiny, full of sharp points, armed with prickles" (originally of holly leaves), from prickle (n.) + -y (2). Figurative sense of "irritable, quick to anger" is recorded by 1862. Prickly heat "inflammatory disorder of the sweat glands" is from 1736, so called for the sensation; prickly pear, of the fruit of a certain cactus, is from 1760 (earlier prickle pear, 1610s). Related: Prickliness.

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Definitions of prickly from WordNet

prickly (adj.)
having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines or thorns or setae etc.;
Synonyms: barbellate / briary / briery / bristled / bristly / burred / burry / setose / setaceous / spiny / thorny
From wordnet.princeton.edu