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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)nettle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.