Definition of nettle noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈnetl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈnetl//
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  • (also stinging nettle) a wild plant with leaves that have pointed edges, are covered in fine hairs and sting if you touch them See related entries: Plants
  • Word OriginOld English netle, netele, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch netel and German Nessel. The verb dates from late Middle English.Extra examples The butterflies lay their eggs on nettles. The nettles had spread and now covered half the garden. There was an old car half buried in the nettles.Idioms (British English) to deal with a difficult situation firmly and without hesitating The government now has the opportunity to grasp the nettle of prison reform.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: nettle