(1)   The act of puncturing with a small point
"He gave the balloon a small prick"
(2)   Obscene terms for penis
(3)   Insulting terms of address for people who are stupid or irritating or ridiculous
(4)   A depression scratched or carved into a surface


(5)   Stab or urge on as if with a pointed stick
(6)   Make a small hole into, as with a needle or a thorn
"The nurse pricked my finger to get a small blood sample"
(7)   Deliver a sting to
"A bee stung my arm yesterday"
(8)   To cause a sharp emotional pain
"The thought of her unhappiness pricked his conscience"
(9)   Raise
"The dog pricked up his ears"
(10)   Cause a prickling sensation
(11)   Cause a stinging pain
"The needle pricked his skin"

Etymology 1

pryk, prik, prikke from Old English prica


  1. The feeling of being pierced or punctured by an object with a fine point such as a pin or small nail.
  2. A small pointed object.
  3. A sharp feeling of remorse. (Acts ii. 37.)
  4. [ca. 1740-1850] Small roll of yarn or tobacco.
  5. A penis.
  6. A man or boy; usually unpleasant and rude.

Etymology 2

From , from


  1. To pierce or puncture.
    John hardly felt the needle prick his arm when the adept nurse drew blood at his physical.
  2. To urge, to spur, to goad, to incite.
    My duty pricks me on to utter that. Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona, ii. 7.
  3. To trace a ship’s course on a chart.
  4. To run a middle seam through the cloth of a sail. (The Universal Dictionary of the English Language, 1896)



  1. dot, small spot
    Sista bokstaven i det svenska alfabetet är "ö", det vill säga ett "o" med två prickar över.
    The last letter in the Swedish alphabet is "ö", that is, an "o" with two dots over it.
  2. guy, person; especially about a particularly nice or funny one
    Det var en riktigt trevlig prick, det där.
    That was a really nice guy, that.

Usage notes

In the sense of "person", it is mainly used in conjunction with the adjectives rolig (funny) or trevlig (nice).