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a. A small hard pointed outgrowth of the epidermis of a plant, in contrast to a modified plant organ such as a spine or thorn.
b. A spine, thorn, or other small sharp structure.
2. A tingling or pricking sensation: felt prickles in my leg after sitting for so long.
v. prick·led, prick·ling, prick·les
1. To feel a tingling or pricking sensation: His skin prickled with fear.
2. To rise or stand up like prickles: The hair on my neck prickled.
To cause a tingling or pricking sensation in: Tears prickled my eyes.

[Middle English prikel, from Old English pricel.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prickling - a somatic sensation as from many tiny prickles
somaesthesia, somatesthesia, somatic sensation, somesthesia - the perception of tactual or proprioceptive or gut sensations; "he relied on somesthesia to warn him of pressure changes"
pins and needles - a sharp tingling sensation from lack of circulation
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Another wave of prickling fire raced down his neck, as Lurgan Sahib moved his hand.
"Pressure pain" and "pain attacks" were the most frequently reported pain descriptors used in all stages of LBP, whereas "burning" and "prickling" were most frequently used to describe the chronic stage.
This is an itchy rash of small red spots that cause a stinging or prickling feeling on the skin.
Whether in a treestand in the upper Midwest or glassing alpine basins in British Columbia, the first sight of a rolling black form is invariably accompanied by a rush of adrenaline and a prickling on the back of your neck.
"My toes are prickling and so are my hands and I think I've had about enough now.
Relax-relax-relax Legs twitch, skin prickling, curtains blowing, Heart getting louder, Memory fading, confusion babble of noise, Vivid colours, unknown people, Shadows, relax-relax, Awake with a start, wide awake now, Cornflakes, toast, black coffee, cold feet Into colder slippers, I'm still me, it's a new day, I've got all day To worry about tonight, as I sit, TV on, and Just relax-relax-relax - zzzzzzzzzzzzz.