Synonyms of prickly in English:


See definition of prickly


1‘the hedgehog curled up into a prickly ball’

spiky, spiked, thorny, barbed, spiny, pronged, bristled, bristly
briary, brambly, burry, rough, scratchy, sharp
technical spiculate, spicular, aculeate, barbellate, spinose, spinous, muricate, setaceous

2‘my skin feels all prickly’

tingly, tingling, prickling, stinging, smarting, itching, itchy, creeping, crawling

3‘Mr Griffith was a prickly character’

irritable, irascible, peevish, fractious, fretful, cross, crabbed, crabby, crotchety, cantankerous, curmudgeonly, disagreeable, miserable, morose, petulant, pettish, peppery, on edge, edgy, impatient, complaining, querulous, bitter, moody, huffy, grumpy, scratchy, ill-tempered, bad-tempered, ill-natured, ill-humoured, sullen, surly, sulky, sour, churlish, touchy, testy, tetchy, grouchy, snappish, waspish, crusty, bilious, liverish, dyspeptic, splenetic, choleric
informal snappy, chippy, cranky
British informal narky, ratty, eggy, stroppy, shirty, whingy, whingeing
North American informal peckish, soreheaded
Australian, New Zealand informal snaky
informal, dated miffy, waxy

affable, easy-going

4‘the prickly question of compensation’

problematic, awkward, ticklish, tricky, delicate, sensitive, difficult, hard, baffling, perplexing, knotty, thorny, tough, troublesome, bothersome, trying, taxing, irksome, vexatious, worrying, concerning
complicated, complex, intricate, convoluted, involved
informal sticky
British informal dodgy