• WordNet 3.6
    • n thorniness a rough and bitter manner
    • n thorniness the quality of being covered with prickly thorns or spines
    • ***


  • Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
    “Virtue rejects facility to be her companion. She requires a craggy, rough and thorny way.”
  • Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
    “Virtue craves a steep and thorny path.”


In literature:

As she rose into the air she gave a bellow of dismay, to fall floundering the next instant into the thorny thicket.
"The Tale of Nimble Deer" by Arthur Scott Bailey
Yet, whatever he felt, no one could observe but that Nathanael was extremely polite and kind to Mrs. Thorny-croft.
"Agatha's Husband A Novel" by Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)
Caher-Speenan, the thorny fort, was a part of this camp, and still exists.
"Folklore as an Historical Science" by George Laurence Gomme
There he took off their armor and clothes, and beat them with thorny sticks.
"King Arthur and His Knights" by Maude L. Radford
Come, now, I can't rest till I've done all I can to comfort you and convince Thorny.
"St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, July 1878, No. 9" by Various
A hedge of thorny bushes and wire was raised to protect the flanks as much as possible.
"The Dash for Khartoum" by George Alfred Henty
Around the arms and shaft, twisted tightly and biting deeply into the wood, was a thorny withe.
"Breaking Point" by James E. Gunn
Thorny boughs tore at us detainingly.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Merrick had stumbled over a fallen log and pitched headlong into some thorny bushes.
"The Rover Boys on the Farm" by Arthur M. Winfield (AKA Edward Stratemeyer)
In fact, the drier the region, the more thorny are its plants.
"The Western United States" by Harold Wellman Fairbanks
Farther east, where the rainfall is heavier, the trees, though still small, are more frequent and less thorny.
"Impressions of South Africa" by James Bryce
Love's thorny tapers yet neglected lie: Speak thou the word, they'll kindle by-and-bye.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
Nothing grew higher than that point but the thorny poison weeds and they were scarce.
"Space Prison" by Tom Godwin
There sat the thorny Sorcerer in his chair of state, and when the Wizard saw him he began to laugh, uttering comical little chuckles.
"Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz" by L. Frank Baum
Take thy long body aside, Thornie, and let's see thy brother a bit.
"Red Cap Tales" by Samuel Rutherford Crockett
Yet he adorned Grub Street (that most fascinating of all thorny ways) with gestures and music of his own.
"Pipefuls" by Christopher Morley
Before reaching the river, we had to descend a little hill covered with thorny bushes.
"Perils and Captivity" by Charlotte-Adélaïde [née Picard] Dard
The wild, thorny growths, waist-high, had to be carefully dealt with.
"Bird Stories from Burroughs" by John Burroughs
His nephew, Stephen Webb, has been obliged to buckle down to hard work at ten dollars a week, and feels that his path is indeed thorny.
"Luke Walton" by Horatio Alger
It involves too many thorny difficulties.
"The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura" by Lucius Apuleius

In poetry:

Learning, thorny are thy ways,
Thought is weary of the maze;
Let us seek awhile the goal
Where affection rests her soul!
"Dulce Domum," by Helen Maria Williams
Gate!—that never wholly closes,
Opening yet so oft in vain!
Garden! full of thorny roses!
Roses fall—and thorns remain.
"Hope" by Ernest Jones
The hard and thorny path they kept
From beauty turned aside;
Nor missed they over those who slept
The grace to life denied.
"The Old Burying-Ground" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Friends, we have been faint and weary
Travellers on life's thorny way;
But our path looks now less dreary;
Sunshine falls upon 't to-day.
"Hymns and Odes for Charity Occasions VI" by John Pierpont
Yet through this rough and thorny maze,
I follow hard on Thee, my God:
Thy hand unseen upholds my ways:
I safely tread where Thou hast trod.
"O God! Thou art my God alone;" by James Montgomery
For many years they travell'd through
A thorny path; and two ways drew.
While neither gave the other rest,
She kept the secret in her breast.
"The Wager" by William Hutton

In news:

Loose ends and thorny partisan tensions on education await the next Congress and President Barack Obama's second term.
Trade-secret cases raise thorny legal issue.
EU fin mins blocked on thorny banking union.
Redevelopment of the Bingham Middle School site remains a thorny issue for residents of the nearby neighborhood.
Obama confronts thorny security issues immediately .
Any such advance would also raise thorny ethical questions.
Budget talks in '90 were just as thorny as today's.
I started this debate on my Facebook page (send me a friend request if you want in) but it's getting too long and thorny there.
Race is still a thorny thing for many young people.
According to a statement from state Comptroller Susan Combs' office, she and Amazon said they've agreed on sales tax es, a thorny issue in Texas and elsewhere.
Rose getting into the Hall of Fame is still a thorny issue for Johnny Bench.
Rose getting into the Hall of Fame is still a thorny issue for Bench.
More than ever, it seems as though being a modern parent means wrestling with thorny social, tech and school issues.
The thorny devil, not quite as sinister as it appears.
Ever seen a thorny devil.

In science:

Finally, we have to come back to the old and thorny problem concerning the description of reality and the methods used in order to understand it.
From Knowledge, Knowability and the Search for Objective Randomness to a New Vision of Complexity
Phenomenological 1D model. – The model (3) seems simpler than Eq. (1), however, the analytical description of the interfaces in these model is a thorny task. A standard method to grasp the dynamics exhibited by the interface of the precedent models is to derive a onedimensional equation for it.
Transversal interface dynamics of a front connecting a stripe pattern to a uniform state
Mama jek et al. A Splinter Session on the Thorny Problem of Stellar Ages.
Temporal Variability of Stars and Stellar Systems
Another advantage of using these two numbers to characterize the distribution is that their calculation, via the integration technique outlined above, avoids the thorny issue of interpolation on the isochrones by considering only the values of observables at tabulated grid points.
Stellar distances from spectroscopic observations: a new technique
While this formulation works well enough in some cases, it also raises several thorny questions related to how the two cost functions should be chosen.
Compression Rate Method for Empirical Science and Application to Computer Vision
By contrast, finding the correct analog of (29) turns out to be a quite thorny problem.
Moduli of varieties of general type
Nevertheless it becomes a rather thorny issue then sub jected to critical analysis as witnessed long ago by Zeno’s paradoxes of motion.
Zeno meets modern science
The cosmological constant represents a thorny issue for the Standard Model17 .
Lepton Photon Symposium 2005: Summary and Outlook
The question of “gap survival” is a thorny one in the theoretical studies of CEP.
Diffraction 2006: Theoretical Summary
Thorny questions in SR, which have come up again and again, find a straightforward resolution.
The Behaviour of Clocks and Rods in Special and General Relativity
The structure of the solar atmosphere as a function of temperature has been a ’thorny’ issue of solar physics research for decades.
The Structure and Dynamics of the Upper Chromosphere and Lower Transition Region as Revealed by the Subarcsecond VAULT Observations
In general, multiplicity is a thorny issue for CNV analyses, as the true location of CNVs are unknown and can overlap in a number of complicated ways.
Kernel-based aggregation of marker-level genetic association tests involving copy-number variation
The fermion pfaffian related to the lattice gluinos was shown to be non-negative, thus eliminating a potential thorny numerical problem .
Summary Talk at Chiral '99
If the given function S is well-behaved on the boundary in the sense explained below, these thorny issues could be sidestepped.
Estimation of the Gradient Density in Arbitrary Finite Dimensions Using the Stationary Phase Approximation
Finally, no discussion of this sort would be completely honest without mentioning the thorny issue of foreground emission.
Introduction to Microwave Background Polarization