Pronunciation: (prik),[key] —n. 1. a puncture made by a needle, thorn, or the like.
2. a sharp point; prickle.
3. the act of pricking: the prick of a needle. 4. the state or sensation of being pricked.
5. a sharp pain caused by or as if by being pricked; twinge.
6. the pointed end of a prickspur.
b. an obnoxious or contemptible person.
8. Archaic.a goad for oxen.
9. Obs.a small or minute mark, a dot, or a point.
10. Obs.any pointed instrument or weapon.
11. kick against the pricks, to resist incontestable facts or authority; protest uselessly: In appealing the case again, you will just be kicking against the pricks.
—v.t. 1. to pierce with a sharp point; puncture.
2. to affect with sharp pain, as from piercing.
3. to cause sharp mental pain to; sting, as with remorse, anger, etc.: His conscience pricked him. 4. to urge on with or as if with a goad or spur: My duty pricks me on. 5. to mark (a surface) with pricks or dots in tracing something.
6. to mark or trace (something) on a surface by pricks or dots.
7. to cause to stand erect or point upward (usually fol. by up): The dog pricked his ears at the sound of the bell. 8. Farriery. a. to lame (a horse) by driving a nail improperly into its hoof.
b. to nick: to prick a horse's tail. 9. to measure (distance, the size of an area, etc.) on a chart with dividers (usually fol. by off).
10. Hort.to transplant (a seedling) into a container that provides more room for growth (usually fol. by out or off).
—v.i. 1. to perform the action of piercing or puncturing something.
2. to have a sensation of being pricked.
3. to spur or urge a horse on; ride rapidly.
4. to rise erect or point upward, as the ears of an animal (usually fol. by up).
5. prick up one's ears, to become very alert; listen attentively: The reporter pricked up his ears at the prospect of a scoop.