American English

Definition of prick verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they prick
    he / she / it pricks
    past simple pricked
    -ing form pricking
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  1. 1[transitive] to make a very small hole in something with a sharp point prick something He pricked the balloon and popped it. prick something with something Prick holes in the paper with a pin.
  2. 2[transitive] prick something (on something) to make a small hole in the skin so that it hurts or blood comes out She pricked her finger on a needle.
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] to make someone feel a slight pain as if they were being pricked He felt a pricking sensation in his throat. prick something Tears pricked her eyes.
  4. Idioms
    prick your conscience, your conscience pricks you
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    to make you feel guilty about something; to feel guilty about something Her conscience pricked her as she lied to her sister.
      prick (up) your ears
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    1. 1(of an animal, especially a horse or dog) to raise the ears
    2. 2(also your ears prick up) (of a person) to listen carefully, especially because you have just heard something interesting Her ears pricked up at the sound of his name. I walked along, ears pricked for the slightest noise.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: prick