• WordNet 3.6
    • v nettle cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations "Mosquitoes buzzing in my ear really bothers me","It irritates me that she never closes the door after she leaves"
    • v nettle sting with or as with nettles and cause a stinging pain or sensation
    • n nettle any of numerous plants having stinging hairs that cause skin irritation on contact (especially of the genus Urtica or family Urticaceae)
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Hackberry. Nettle-tree Hackberry. Nettle-tree

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Nettle (Bot) A plant of the genus Urtica, covered with minute sharp hairs containing a poison that produces a stinging sensation. Urtica gracilis is common in the Northern, and Urtica chamædryoides in the Southern, United States. The common European species, Urtica urens and Urtica dioica, are also found in the Eastern united States. Urtica pilulifera is the Roman nettle of England.☞ The term nettle has been given to many plants related to, or to some way resembling, the true nettle; as: Australian nettle a stinging tree or shrub of the genus Laporteaas Laportea gigas and Laportea moroides); -- also called nettle tree. Bee nettle Hemp nettle a species of Galeopsis. See under Hemp. Blind nettle Dead nettle a harmless species of Lamium. False nettle Bæhmeria cylindrica), a plant common in the United States, and related to the true nettles. Hedge nettle a species of Stachys. See under Hedge. Horse nettle Solanum Carolinense). See under Horse. nettle tree. Same as Hackberry. See Australian nettleabove). Spurge nettle a stinging American herb of the Spurge family (Jatropha urens). Wood nettle a plant (Laportea Canadensis) which stings severely, and is related to the true nettles.
    • v. t Nettle To fret or sting; to irritate or vex; to cause to experience sensations of displeasure or uneasiness not amounting to violent anger. "The princes were so nettled at the scandal of this affront, that every man took it to himself."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n nettle A herbaceous plant of the genus Urtica, armed with stinging hairs. U. dioica is the common, great, or stinging nettle, native in the northern Old World, naturalized in the United States and elsewhere. This plant is now somewhat cultivated in Germany for its fiber, which, properly dressed, is fine and silky. The tender shoots are not unfrequently used as a pot-herb. This and the small nettle, U. urens, were formerly in use as diuretics and astringents. The Roman nettle of southern Europe is U. pilulifera. U. cannabina of Siberia is locally utilized as a fiber-plant.
    • n nettle One of several plants of other genera of the nettle family (Urticaceæ); any nettle-like plant: generally with a qualifying word.
    • nettle To sting; irritate or vex; provoke; pique.
    • n nettle Nautical, same as knittle, 2.
    • n nettle The white dead-nettle, Lamium album.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Nettle net′l a common plant covered with hairs which sting sharply
    • v.t Nettle to fret, as a nettle does the skin: to irritate
    • ***


  • Thornton Wilder
    “The comic spirit is given to us in order that we may analyze, weigh, and clarify things in us which nettle us, or which we are outgrowing, or trying to reshape.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.”


Grasp the nettle - (UK) If you grasp the nettle, you deal bravely with a problem.
Muck or nettles - 'Muck or nettles' means 'all or nothing'.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. netele,; akin to D. netel, G. nessel, OHG. nezzïla, nazza, Dan. nelde, nälde, Sw. nässla,; cf, Lith. notere,


In literature:

THIRD LIEUTENANT: Nettles, J.H., Gardner, H.W.
"History of Kershaw's Brigade" by D. Augustus Dickert
But to-day her conscience irritated her like a nettle.
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science" by Various
If you belong to the Nettle family, impersonate the Violet.
"Supreme Personality" by Delmer Eugene Croft
They sting, as their trivial name indicates, like a nettle when incautiously touched.
"Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon" by J. Emerson Tennent
The first of them is the Stinging Nettle.
"Wildflowers of the Farm" by Arthur Owens Cooke
They were somewhat nettled, as one may suppose, at being thus befooled, and here lies the gist of our story.
"The Parish Clerk (1907)" by Peter Hampson Ditchfield
Nettled by their silence, or by their murmured comments, Wingate arose again.
"The Covered Wagon" by Emerson Hough
Would it act as a spur to higher things, or be merely as the useless sting of a nettle?
"The Waters of Edera" by Louise de la Ramée, a.k.a. Ouida
The principal was nettled to fury.
"Two Little Savages" by Ernest Thompson Seton
Now Shedad, a son, nettled under the stern sway of his sire and longed for the chase and the combat.
"The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916" by Various
The eggs were for our salad when we had nothing better than nettles and sorrel.
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873." by Various
Holton was nettled by his nonchalance.
"In Old Kentucky" by Edward Marshall and Charles T. Dazey
The people of Syracuse were much nettled by the insulting jests passed upon them by the despots.
"Plutarch's Lives, Volume I (of 4)" by Plutarch
No doubt I was a good deal nettled and ashamed.
"David Balfour, Second Part" by Robert Louis Stevenson
The stone was overgrown with lichens and moss, and skirted by a growth of nettles and thistles.
"The Pilots of Pomona" by Robert Leighton
Stinging nettles abound here, of the tall sort that grow so rankly on old earth heaps and in dry ditches.
"Three Months of My Life" by J. F. Foster
Now thy nest of love lies hid Down amid the nettles rude.
"A Celtic Psaltery" by Alfred Perceval Graves
The island is deserted; sparse grass grows in spots, mingled here and there with tufts of purple flowers and nettles.
"Over Strand and Field" by Gustave Flaubert
Do thou hold him, good man Nettles, as being in some wise accountable for his condition.
"The Knight of the Golden Melice" by John Turvill Adams
Embedded in the protoplasm at the broad, or attached, end of the nettle hair, there lies a spheroidal nucleus.
"Lectures and Essays" by Thomas Henry Huxley

In poetry:

We have eaten
Nettles and roots since the want came, we
And our children.
"The Miracle Of The Corn" by Padraic Colum
Stoop, stoop; for thou dost fear
The nettle's wrathful spear,
So slight
Art thou of might!
"Any Saint" by Francis Thompson
That Pleeceman's scorn grew large
(Phrenology had nettled it),
He took that Bart. in charge -
I don't know how they settled it.
"Phrenology" by William Schwenck Gilbert
"Why am I here, unseen, unknown,
'Mid weeds and nettles planted,
While still to bloom on sunny banks
To other flowers is granted?
"The Violet" by Caroline Fry
But the breath of the nettle stung her,
And the thistle's rude embrace
Burned her sensitive nature,
And scarred the fair, stained face.
"A Stained Lily" by Madge Morris Wagner
Yet do I pray your seed fares not as mine
That sowed there stars along with good white grain,
But reaped thereof--be better fortune thine--
Nettles and bitter herbs, for all my gain.
"The New Husbandman" by Richard Le Gallienne

In news:

Trees have been cleared between Jefferson and Nettles Rd.
Less than a year after tying the knot, country powerhouse and "Duets" mentor Jennifer Nettles is expecting her first child with husband Justin Miller.
Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and her husband Justin Miller welcomed their son Magnus Hamilton Miller into the world on Thursday.
Sugarland's Kristian Bush Shares What Parenting Advice He Gave Jennifer Nettles .
Sugarland's Kristian Bush has some advice for singing partner Jennifer Nettles , who is currently expecting her first child with husband Justin Miller.
Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland gave birth to a baby boy on Thursday (Dec.
Jennifer Nettles delivers a boy.
Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles and husband Justin Miller welcomed their first child yesterday—a brand new baby boy with the name Magnus Hamilton.
Jennifer Nettles becomes a mom.
Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles has given birth to a baby boy.
0 Jennifer Nettles performs during the 2012 Country Christmas concert in Nashville.
Jennifer Nettles and Justin Miller welcome son.
A statement issued Friday says Nettles gave birth to son Magnus Hamilton Miller on Thursday.
It's a BOY For Jennifer Nettles .
It's a Boy for Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles .

In science:

Nettle’s conclusions using a different model.
The emerging field of language dynamics
Progress comes from dissatisfaction (Nettle, 2004, a book review, and G.B.
Astrophysics in 2005
Nettle D., Grace J.B., Choisy M., Cornell H.V., Gu´egan J.-F. et al.: Cultural Diversity, Economic Development and Societal Instability.
A Biased Review of Sociophysics