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A.Word.A.Day--crown of thorns

Pronunciation RealAudio

crown of thorns (kroun ov thornz) noun

1. An onerous burden or an affliction that causes intense suffering.

2. A thorny bush (Euphorbia milii) native to Madagascar, grown as a houseplant. (picture)

3. A starfish (Acanthaster planci) found in the Pacific that feeds on live corals. (picture)

[After the biblical account of a mock crown made of thorny branches that Roman soldiers placed on Jesus's head before his crucifixion.]

See more usage examples of crown of+thorns in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"Manipur chief minister O.I. Singh wears a crown of thorns. With battlelines clearly drawn on several fronts, it will take a major effort to close ranks."
Patricia Mukhim; A Recipe For Disaster?; The Telegraph (Calcutta, India); Jul 5, 2005.

This week's theme: Biblical allusions.

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You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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