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stinging nettle
Urtica dioica


1. Any of various plants of the genus Urtica, having toothed leaves, unisexual apetalous flowers, and stinging hairs that cause skin irritation on contact.
2. Any of various hairy, stinging, or prickly plants.
tr.v. net·tled, net·tling, net·tles
1. To sting with or as if with a nettle.
2. To irritate; vex.

[Middle English, from Old English netele; see ned- in Indo-European roots.]


- Got their name because people used to weave them into nets.
See also related terms for weave.
References in classic literature ?
I should certainly have boiled over if I hadn't stayed among the nettles till I got my rage under control enough to hold my tongue.
I am not fond of nettles or thistles, or heath blossoms.
At such a time I found out for certain, that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond, was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip.
As I thought of all I owed that noble fish, I kneeled by the river's bearded lip, among the nettles and the meadowsweet, and swore by the inconstant moon that trout and I were henceforth kinsmen, and that between our houses should be an eternal amity.
At this sight the curate cried faintly in his throat, and began running; but I knew it was no good running from a Martian, and I turned aside and crawled through dewy nettles and brambles into the broad ditch by the side of the road.
And close at hand came the village: the small church, with its red-tiled roof, looking humble even among the faded half-timbered houses; the old green gravestones with nettles round them; nothing fresh and bright but the children, opening round eyes at the swift post-chaise; nothing noisy and busy but the gaping curs of mysterious pedigree.
It is settled: to-morrow I will throw my cassock to the nettles.
he cried, for his fingers throbbed as though he had grasped many nettles.
Mary had shewn herself disobliging to him, and was now to reap the consequence, which consequence was his dropping her arm almost every moment to cut off the heads of some nettles in the hedge with his switch; and when Mary began to complain of it, and lament her being ill-used, according to custom, in being on the hedge side, while Anne was never incommoded on the other, he dropped the arms of both to hunt after a weasel which he had a momentary glance of, and they could hardly get him along at all.
Such were the details given by the doctor while his companions continued to gaze upon that multitude of men, women, and children, advancing on foot and with difficulty over a waste of sand half in motion, and scarcely kept in its place by scanty nettles, withered grass, and stunted bushes that grew upon it.
Hast thou fed upon vinegar and nettles this morning that thy speech is so stinging?
Thereupon he went straight to the second aeroplane, got the aeronaut's gun and ammunition and hid them in a clump of nettles close at hand.