To nettle means to irritate or provoke someone to the point of anger or annoyance.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



annoy, vex, irk, bother, provoke, exasperate


please, soothe, comfort, calm

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun nettle, nettles
Verb nettled, nettles, nettle, nettling
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • His careless remarks nettled her and she snapped back.

  • It nettles me when people don’t follow the rules.

  • Her behavior towards him had nettled him for days.

  • The constant teasing began to nettle her, causing frustration and annoyance.


The word ’nettle’ is often used to describe a situation where someone is provoked or irritated to the point of anger or annoyance. It can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in personal relationships, in the workplace, or in public situations. The word can also be used to describe the action of provoking someone, as in “He was nettling her with his constant teasing.”

The origin of the word comes from the stinging nettle plant, which has tiny hairs that can cause a burning sensation when touched. The verb ’nettle’ comes from the idea that someone who is nettled is being irritated in a similar way to being stung by the plant.

The word ’nettle’ can also be used as a noun to describe the plant itself. In this context, it refers to a type of herbaceous plant with stinging hairs that is often considered a weed. The plant has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, and is sometimes used as an ingredient in food and drink.

The word ’nettle’ can also be used in a figurative sense, to describe a situation or problem that is difficult to deal with or get rid of, much like a weed. For example, “The corruption scandal was a nettle that the company had to handle carefully.” Overall, the word ’nettle’ is a versatile term that can be used in a variety of contexts to describe irritation, provocation, or difficult situations.