• WordNet 3.6
    • n thistle any of numerous plants of the family Compositae and especially of the genera Carduus and Cirsium and Onopordum having prickly-edged leaves
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Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Eggplant is a member of the thistle family.
    • n Thistle (Bot) Any one of several prickly composite plants, especially those of the genera Cnicus Craduus, and Onopordon. The name is often also applied to other prickly plants.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n thistle One of numerous stout composite weeds, armed with spines or prickles, bearing globular or thickly cylindrical heads with purple, yellow, or white flowers and no rays, and dispersing their seed by the aid of a light globe of pappus. The name applies in general to the members of the genus Cnicus (including the former Cirsium), the common or plumed thistle, in which the pappus is plumose or feathered, of Carduus, the plumeless thistle, in which the pappus is simple, and of Onopordon, the cotton-thistle, also with qualifying words to plants of other genera.
    • n thistle The artichoke.
    • n thistle The wild lettuce, Lactuca Scariola, var. virosa.
    • n thistle Same as blessed thistle.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Thistle this′l a genus of prickly plants
    • ***


  • Abraham Lincoln
    “I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”
  • Abraham Lincoln
    “Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”
  • Sir Richard Burton
    Sir Richard Burton
    “A man that hoards up riches and enjoys them not, is like an ass that carries gold and eats thistles.”
  • Robert Green Ingersoll
    “The destroyer of weeds, thistles, and thorns is a benefactor whether he soweth grain or not.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. thistil, AS. þistel,; akin to D. & G. distel, OHG. distila, distil, Icel. þistill, Sw. tistel, Dan. tidsel,; of uncertain origin
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. thistel; Ger. distel.


In literature:

The vegetation is after the order of our world, except that the curse of weeds and thistles is only one-fourth as great.
"Life in a Thousand Worlds" by William Shuler Harris
It is my own fault if I idealize a thistle until the thistle and I both think it is a vine.
"Red Pottage" by Mary Cholmondeley
Her thirst grew; she left the thistle and fell to whipping the rank grass.
"That Old-Time Child, Roberta" by Sophie Fox Sea
Frank was circling about Nelly, his eyes on hers, treading lightly, his tall body apparently weighing no more than thistle-down.
"The Brimming Cup" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
There is the same practical inconvenience in taking one for the other as in trying to gather grapes from thistles.
"The Life of Reason" by George Santayana
The Affghans appear to cut every plant almost of any size for winter fodder, even thistles, docks, etc.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
It is probable that an oil might be obtained from them similar in its operation to the thistle oil.
"The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom" by P. L. Simmonds
We strip thistles of their prickly coat, and use the down for pillows.
"Prince Lazybones and Other Stories" by Mrs. W. J. Hays
You will notice that the thistle is very abundant just here, Ladies and Gentlemen.
"Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, October 15, 1892" by Various
They counted the spots they passed that were purple with thistles, and they were many.
"What Two Children Did" by Charlotte E. Chittenden

In poetry:

Don't mind how troubles bristle,
The rose comes with the thistle.
Hold your own
An' change your tone
An' whistle, whistle, whistle!
"Just Whistle" by Frank Lebby Stanton
“My heart was light as a thistle-seed—
I had but been wed a year—
I dreamt of joy that would soon be mine—
A babe in my arms so dear.
"The Woman Who Went To Hell [An Irish Legend]" by Dora Sigerson Shorter
Then came the turn of the least daughter,
That was whiter than thistle-down,
And among the gold of her blithesome hair
Dim shone the golden crown.
"The Singing Leaves" by James Russell Lowell
Marvel through my pulses ran
Seeing then the beam divine
Swiftly on this hand decline,
While Earth's splendor and renown
Mounted light as thistle-down.
"St. Michael The Weigher" by James Russell Lowell
The thorn and the thistle disputed the soil
Where fairest of flowers had blown;
The hand that had planted them left them to die,
And the lily was blooming alone.
"The Lily" by Caroline Fry
But now it forgets thee, and leaves thee alone.
To dwell with the poisonous weed;
The thorn is thy fellow, the thistle thy mate,
Thou wilt perish, and no one will heed.
"The Lily" by Caroline Fry

In news:

Don't know how long it was outside, but has a lot of thistles.
Songbird 's Testosterone Surges at Sight of Thistle Blooms.
MAYWOOD, N.J.– Ikegami helped Thistle Communications to deploy their new unit, Senior HD, in 30 days by supplying them with four new Ikegami HDK-77EC HD native multiformat CMOS cameras.
Power out along Roxbury and Thistle restored.
Relax At The Bee & Thistle .
Old Lyme If you need some R&R after running around to all these great Connectiut locations, head over to the Bee & Thistle .
Elisete and Harold Thistle show off their bounty of 34 dozen doughnuts.
Peggy Cornett, from Monticello, talks about the thistle as the "Plant of the Month" for June.
Linda Rae Thistle , 73, of Sedona, died April 13.
Guoman & Thistle Hotels launch guest rewards scheme.
Casa Ybel's Thistle Lodge featured on Fox 4's Morning Blend.
On June 7, Casa Ybel Resort's historic Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant and Coconuts Poolside Bar and Grill were featured on Fox 4's Morning Blend.
OXFORD – Friday, June 25, at 7:30 pm, 6 On The Square (6OTS) is celebrating their 3rd anniversary featuring everybody's favorite local band, Thistle Dew.
During almost 30 years hosting The Thistle & Shamrock, I've been privileged to hear thousands of albums on everything from vinyl to MP3.