crown of thorns

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crown′ of thorns′

1. a climbing spurge, Euphorbiamiliisplendens, of Madagascar, having spiny stems and flowers with petallike red bracts.
2. Also, crown′-of-thorns′. a starfish, Acanthaster planci, that feeds on living coral polyps, causing erosion and destruction of coral reefs.
[before 950]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend: of thorns - any affliction that causes great suffering; "that is his cross to bear"; "he bears his afflictions like a crown of thorns"
affliction - a state of great suffering and distress due to adversity of thorns - somewhat climbing bushy spurge of Madagascar having long woody spiny stems with few leaves and flowers with scarlet bracts
Euphorbia, genus Euphorbia - type genus of the Euphorbiaceae: very large genus of diverse plants all having milky juice
spurge - any of numerous plants of the genus Euphorbia; usually having milky often poisonous juice of thorns - a mock crown made of thorn branches that Roman soldiers placed on Jesus before the Crucifixion
crown - a wreath or garland worn on the head to signify victory