• WordNet 3.6
    • v prick stab or urge on as if with a pointed stick
    • v prick make a small hole into, as with a needle or a thorn "The nurse pricked my finger to get a small blood sample"
    • v prick deliver a sting to "A bee stung my arm yesterday"
    • v prick to cause a sharp emotional pain "The thought of her unhappiness pricked his conscience"
    • v prick raise "The dog pricked up his ears"
    • v prick cause a prickling sensation
    • v prick cause a stinging pain "The needle pricked his skin"
    • n prick the act of puncturing with a small point "he gave the balloon a small prick"
    • n prick obscene terms for penis
    • n prick insulting terms of address for people who are stupid or irritating or ridiculous
    • n prick a depression scratched or carved into a surface
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Prick A mark denoting degree; degree; pitch.
    • Prick A mark made by a pointed instrument; a puncture; a point.
    • Prick A mathematical point; -- regularly used in old English translations of Euclid.
    • Prick A point or mark on the dial, noting the hour.
    • Prick (Naut) A small roll; as, a prick of spun yarn; a prick of tobacco.
    • Prick That which pricks, penetrates, or punctures; a sharp and slender thing; a pointed instrument; a goad; a spur, etc.; a point; a skewer. "Pins, wooden pricks , nails, sprigs of rosemary.""It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks ."
    • Prick The act of pricking, or the sensation of being pricked; a sharp, stinging pain; figuratively, remorse. "The pricks of conscience."
    • Prick The footprint of a hare.
    • Prick The point on a target at which an archer aims; the mark; the pin.
    • Prick To affect with sharp pain; to sting, as with remorse. "I was pricked with some reproof.""Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart."
    • Prick To aim at a point or mark.
    • Prick To be punctured; to suffer or feel a sharp pain, as by puncture; as, a sore finger pricks .
    • Prick To become sharp or acid; to turn sour, as wine.
    • Prick To dress; to prink; -- usually with up.
    • Prick (Far) To drive a nail into (a horse's foot), so as to cause lameness.
    • Prick To fix by the point; to attach or hang by puncturing; as, to prick a knife into a board. "The cooks prick it [a slice] on a prong of iron."
    • Prick To make sharp; to erect into a point; to raise, as something pointed; -- said especially of the ears of an animal, as a horse or dog; and usually followed by up; -- hence, to prick up the ears, to listen sharply; to have the attention and interest strongly engaged. "The courser . . . pricks up his ears."
    • Prick To mark or denote by a puncture; to designate by pricking; to choose; to mark; -- sometimes with off. "Some who are pricked for sheriffs.""Let the soldiers for duty be carefully pricked off.""Those many, then, shall die: their names are pricked ."
    • Prick To mark the outline of by puncturing; to trace or form by pricking; to mark by punctured dots; as, to prick a pattern for embroidery; to prick the notes of a musical composition.
    • Prick (Far) To nick.
    • Prick To pierce slightly with a sharp-pointed instrument or substance; to make a puncture in, or to make by puncturing; to drive a fine point into; as, to prick one with a pin, needle, etc.; to prick a card; to prick holes in paper.
    • Prick To render acid or pungent.
    • Prick To ride or guide with spurs; to spur; to goad; to incite; to urge on; -- sometimes with on, or off. "Who pricketh his blind horse over the fallows.""The season pricketh every gentle heart.""My duty pricks me on to utter that."
    • Prick (Naut) To run a middle seam through, as the cloth of a sail.
    • Prick To spur onward; to ride on horseback. "A gentle knight was pricking on the plain."
    • Prick (Naut) To trace on a chart, as a ship's course.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n prick A slender pointed instrument or other thing capable of puncturing; something sharp-pointed.
    • n prick A thorn; spine; prickle.
    • n prick A skewer.
    • n prick A goad. [Obsolete or prov. Eng.] The penis. [Low.] A kind of eel-spear. [Eng.]
    • n prick Same as pricket, 1.
    • n prick A point; dot; small mark.
    • n prick Specifically— A mark used in writing or printing, as a vowel-point or a comma.
    • n prick In archery, the point in the center of a target at which aim is taken; the white; also, the target itself, or, in the plural, a pair of targets, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the range.
    • n prick A mark on a dial noting the hour; hence, a point of time.
    • n prick A mark denoting degree; pitch; point.
    • n prick A mathematical point.
    • n prick In music, a note or point: so called from the dot or mark that formed its head.
    • n prick The act or process of puncturing or pricking.
    • n prick A puncture. A minute wound, such as is made by a needle, thorn, or sting.
    • n prick The print of the foot of a hare or deer on the ground.
    • n prick plural In tanning, an appearance as of minute punctures in hides soaked in water until decomposition begins.
    • n prick Figuratively, that which pierces, stings, goads, or incites the mind.
    • n prick A small roll: as, a prick of spun-yarn; a prick of tobacco.
    • prick To pierce with a sharp point; puncture; wound.
    • prick To fix or insert by the point: as, to prick a knife into a board.
    • prick To transfix or impale.
    • prick To fasten by means of a pin or other pointed instrument; stick.
    • prick To pick out with or as with a needle.
    • prick To spur, as a horse; hence, to stimulate to action; goad; incite; impel.
    • prick To affect with sharp pain; sting, as with remorse or sorrow.
    • prick To cause to point upward; erect: said chiefly of the ears, and primarily of the pointed ears of certain animals, as the horse: generally with up: hence, to prick up the ears, to listen with eager attention, or evince eager attention.
    • prick To stick upon by way of decoration; stick full, as of flowers or feathers; hence, to decorate; adorn; prink.
    • prick To place a point, dot, or similar mark upon; mark. To jot or set down in dots or marks, as music or words. See counterpoint (etymology) and pricksong.
    • prick To designate by a mark or dot; hence, to choose or select. Compare pricking for sheriffs, under pricking.
    • prick To mark or trace by puncturing.
    • prick To trace or track by the marks or footsteps, as a hare.
    • prick Nautical, to run a middle seam through the cloth of (a sail).
    • prick To aim, as at a point or mark.
    • prick To give a sensation as of being pricked or punctured with a sharp point; also, to have such a sensation.
    • prick To spur on; ride rapidly; post; speed.
    • prick To point upward; stand erect.
    • prick To dress one's self for show; prink.
    • prick To germinate.
    • prick To become acid or sour. Wine is said to be pricked when it is very slightly soured, as when the bottles have been kept in too warm a place.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Prick prik that which pricks or penetrates: a sharp point: the act or feeling of pricking: a puncture: a sting: remorse: :
    • v.t Prick to pierce with a prick: to erect any pointed thing: to fix by the point: to put on by puncturing: to mark or make by pricking: to incite: to deck out as with flowers or feathers: to pain
    • v.i Prick to have a sensation of puncture: to stand erect: to ride with spurs:—pa.t. and pa.p. pricked
    • v.t Prick to prick slightly
    • v.i Prick (Spens.) to be prickly
    • adj Prick prickly
    • adj Prick over-precise
    • n Prick prik (Shak.) a thorn, prickle, skewer, point of time
    • n Prick prik (Spens.) point, pitch
    • ***


  • Walter Abish
    Walter Abish
    “America fears the unshaven legs, the unshaven men's cheeks, the aroma of perspiration, and the limp prick. Above all it fears the limp prick.”
  • Amy Lowell
    Amy Lowell
    “Even Pain pricks to livelier living.”
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
    “If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon-shots.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”
  • Pilpay
    “There is no gathering the rose without being pricked by the thorns.”


Never a rose without the prick - This means that good things always have something bad as well; like the thorns on the stem of a rose.
Prick up your ears - If you prick up your ears, you listen very carefully. ('Pick up your ears' is also used.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. prica, pricca, pricu,; akin to LG. prick, pricke, D. prik, Dan. prik, prikke, Sw. prick,. Cf. Prick (v.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. pricu, a point; Ger. prickeln, Dut. prikkel, a prickle.


In literature:

At the instant, he felt a sharp prick in his little finger, like a pin prick.
"Stories to Tell Children" by Sara Cone Bryant
Now at the mention of Yap-Yap the Prairie Dog, the long ears of Peter Rabbit had pricked up at once.
"Mother West Wind "Where" Stories" by Thornton W. Burgess
They bought some household stores and comforts at a very high price, and pricked upon the homeward road, away from vulgar revellers.
"Lorna Doone" by R. D. Blackmore
Meanwhile the cat was, for his sins, being horribly pricked by the holly-hedge through which he was sliding.
"The Way of the Wild" by F. St. Mars
But the Berber-Bashi pricked up his ears and grew terribly attentive when mention was made of the hidden treasures of the Grand Vizier.
"Halil the Pedlar" by Mór Jókai
But as for that, he's barely out of bed from my pin-prick.
"The Master of Appleby" by Francis Lynde
All at once, she felt a fine prick on her head, and threw back one hand and turned quickly.
"The Portion of Labor" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
And M. Picot must have seen my surprise, for he drew back to his shell like a pricked snail.
"Heralds of Empire" by Agnes C. Laut
The flowers are small and white, and the stems prickly.
"On the Trail" by Lina Beard and Adelia Belle Beard
Conscience pricked Fay that night.
"Prisoners" by Mary Cholmondeley

In poetry:

Where we planted roses sweet
Thorns come up an' pricked the feet;
But this old world's hard to beat,—
Here's hopin'!
"Here's Hopin'" by Frank Lebby Stanton
Slumber sweet, noddlekins,
Nurse is full of prickly pins,
Mamma's full of kisses sweet
For dimpled hands and rosy feet.
"Lullaby" by Ella Fraser Weller
And pricks his finger on a pin
In her unfinished sewing,
And sees the whole of her again,
And silent tears come flowing.
"Parting" by Boris Pasternak
The first place that he came unto
It was the open wold,
And underneath were prickly whins,
And a wind that blew so cold.
"The Ballad Of Judas Iscariot" by Robert Williams Buchanan
But the King spake:--
"What fool is this, that hurts our ears
With folly? or what drunken slave?
My guards, what, prick him with your spears!
Prick me the fellow from the path!"
"Stanzas In Memory Of The Author Of 'Obermann'" by Matthew Arnold
The starry hosts with silver lances prick
The scarlet fringes of the tents of Day,
And turn their crystal shields upon their breasts,
And point their radiant lances, and so wait
The stirring of the giant in his caves.
"A Battle" by Isabella Valancy Crawford

In news:

Prickly Pear -Peach Sorbet.
Cup prickly pear puree (or substitute plum puree).
1 ounce Fruitpure Prickly Pear Puree.
Saliva instead of finger pricks.
Sandia 's 'lab-on-disk' could make medical tests faster, cheaper for patients SpinDx technology offers quick blood work results with just a pin prick.
Rubbing rough surfaces makes us prickly.
I ended a recent meal there with a trio of sick sorbets : melon, pineapple and hot-pink prickly pear.
Prick the plastic to release the steam.
Two people have been injured at a WalMart store in Georgia when they were pricked by syringes that were hidden in the clothes.
One man pricked himself with a syringe and was taken to a hospital, said Oceanside police Sgt Leonard Mata.
Prickly and terse about his Judaism.
Winchester Police tell us an 8-year-old girl was pricked by a medical needle found inside her bag of candy Wednesday night.
Adoptable pets – An antidote to prickly politics.
Prickly Pairs Phoenix Serves as Hot Venue for Auto Glass Conference.
Phoenix and the auto glass industry have always formed a prickly pair.

In science:

The rising of real incomes and the increasing in abundant of consumer goods have pricked demand for greater consumption on electronic gadgets in most modernized countries.
Grid Information Security Functional Requirement - Fulfilling Information Security of a Smart Grid System
Gamma-rays are notoriously hard to focus, so no sharp gamma-ray “images” exist to this day: they are just diffuse pin-pricks of gamma-ray light.
Gamma-Ray Bursts