prick

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a pricking in (one's) thumbs

old-fashioned, literary An intuition or premonition about something; a sense of foreknowledge about a situation, condition, or set of circumstances. A reference to a line in Shakespeare's Macbeth: "By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes." I have this pricking in my thumbs that the meeting isn't going to end in our favor. She felt the old, familiar pricking in her thumbs, a sense that something awful was about to happen to someone close to her.
See also: prick, thumb

a spare prick at a wedding

slang Someone who feels awkward and out of place at an event. I don't know anyone here, so I've been like a spare prick at a wedding, just standing in the corner by myself.
See also: prick, spare, wedding

autem prickear

obsolete One who dissents from the teachings of any given denomination of the (Christian) church. "Autem" is an obsolete slang word for church, and "prick-eared" was a slang term often applied to puritans, who dissented from the Church of England. AI'd rather those autem prickears go and form their own church instead of trying to change our own.
See also: autem

be like a spare prick at a wedding

slang To feel awkward and out of place at an event. Primarily heard in UK. I don't know anyone here, so I've been like a spare prick at a wedding, just standing in the corner by myself.
See also: like, prick, spare, wedding

kick against the pricks

To resist, protest, or fight against those in positions of authority. Our generation had to live through the Thatcher era—we were defined by kicking against the pricks!
See also: kick, prick

never a rose without a/the prick

There is rarely a good or positive thing, event, or circumstance that is not accompanied by something negative or unpleasant (i.e., just as a rose has thorns). A: "I can't believe the amount of taxes I have to pay on my lottery winnings!" B: "Never a rose without the prick, eh?"
See also: never, prick, rose, without

policy of pin pricks

A government policy that is regarded as particularly petty. The phrase was first applied to tense relations between England and France at the end of the 19th century. How long do we have to suffer under this policy of pin pricks before they finally repeal it?
See also: of, pin, policy, prick

prick (one's) conscience

To cause one niggling feelings of guilt or remorse. It pricked my conscience to see my brother being led away in handcuffs, but I know it was the right thing to call the cops on him. Their promotional material is carefully crafted to prick the conscience of anyone who picks it up.
See also: conscience, prick

prick (one's) ears up

To suddenly pay close attention to something. Be sure to prick your ears up if anything about the case is mentioned. I can't help but prick my ears up if I hear someone say my name—even if they aren't talking about me.
See also: ear, prick, up

prick up (one's) ears

To suddenly pay close attention to something. Be sure to prick up your ears if anything about the case is mentioned. I can't help but prick up my ears if I hear someone say my name—even if they aren't talking about me.
See also: ear, prick, up

prick up its ears

 and prick up one's ears
Fig. [for an animal or a person] to become attentive. (The animal will adjust its ears toward the sound.) The sound made the dog prick its ears up. When Fred heard his name, he pricked up his ears. She pricked her ears up when she heard her name.
See also: ear, prick, up

prick up one's ears

Listen carefully, pay close attention, as in When she heard them mention her boyfriend she pricked up her ears. This term alludes to horses raising their ears at a sudden noise. [Late 1500s]
See also: ear, prick, up

prick up your ears

If someone pricks up their ears, they start listening eagerly, because they suddenly hear an interesting sound or piece of information. Olivia pricked up her ears at the mention of James. Note: You can also say that someone's ears prick up. My ears pricked up when I heard her talk about food. Note: When animals such as dogs hear a sudden or unfamiliar noise, they prick up their ears; that is, their ears become more upright so that they can hear the sound better.
See also: ear, prick, up

like a spare prick at a wedding

BRITISH, INFORMAL, VERY RUDE
If someone is like a spare prick at a wedding, they are not needed and nobody pays attention to them. I sat on the edge of a bench feeling like a spare prick at a wedding. Note: `Prick' is a slang word for penis.
See also: like, prick, spare, wedding

kick against the pricks

mainly BRITISH, LITERARY, OLD-FASHIONED
If you kick against the pricks, you show your opposition to people in authority. He was just an awkward young man kicking against the pricks. Note: This expression occurs in the Bible (Acts 9:5). It refers to cattle kicking out when people try to drive them by jabbing them with sticks.
See also: kick, prick

kick against the pricks

hurt yourself by persisting in useless resistance or protest.
In the Bible, on the road to Damascus Saul heard the words: ‘It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks’ (Acts 9:5). The image is that of an ox or other beast of burden fruitlessly kicking out when it is pricked by a goad or spur.
See also: kick, prick

prick up your ears

1 (especially of a horse or dog) make the ears stand erect when on the alert. 2 (of a person) become suddenly attentive.
See also: ear, prick, up

a spare prick at a wedding

a person who is out of place or has no role in a particular situation. British vulgar slang
See also: prick, spare, wedding

a pricking in your thumbs

a premonition or foreboding.
This expression comes from a speech by the Second Witch in Shakespeare's Macbeth: ‘By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes’.
See also: prick, thumb

ˌkick against the ˈpricks

harm yourself by protesting when it is useless to do so: People in prison learn very quickly not to kick against the pricks. If they complain, the prison officers make their lives very difficult.This idiom comes from the Bible and refers to the fact that an animal such as an ox may kick when it is pricked (= pushed with a stick) to make it move, but will still have to move.
See also: kick, prick

prick your ˈconscience

,

your ˈconscience pricks you

make you feel guilty about something; feel guilty about something: Her conscience pricked her as she lied to her sister.
See also: conscience, prick

ˌprick up your ˈears

,

your ˈears prick up

start to listen carefully: ‘And the winner is ...’ He pricked up his ears. ‘... Michael Poole.’
This expression refers to the way dogs, horses and other animals raise their ears when they listen with attention.
See also: ear, prick, up

prick

1. n. the penis. (Usually objectionable.) He held his hands over his prick and ran for the bedroom.
2. n. a stupid or obnoxious male. (Usually objectionable.) You stupid prick! Get out of here!

prick up (one's) ears

To listen with attentive interest.
See also: ear, prick, up

prick up one's ears, to

To listen attentively. This term, which alludes to horses holding up their ears at a sudden noise, dates from the sixteenth century. Shakespeare used it in The Tempest (4.1): “Like unback’d colts, they prick’d their ears.”
See also: prick, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Pricking of IV infusions must be discouraged to avoid contamination, which could be very dangerous for the Patients.
Besides awareness campaign and other CME activities we are providing quality IV infusion bottles which does not need pricking. Otsuka Field Force visit doctors every month to create awareness regarding this campaign and provide them printed information material.
Pricking of IV preparations is very risky which could be controlled by regular refresher courses especially for paramedics and nursing staff.
Pricking of IV Infusion preparations is a unique occupational hazard, which is preventable by adopting simple operating protocol and its implementation.
Pricking of IV infusion Bottles has become habit which will take time to give it up.This was stated Dr.
KEEN gardener Jeanne Harris died from a flesh-eating infection after pricking her finger on a rose, an inquest heard yesterday.
Pricking out, transferring seedlings from their original container to another one where they have more room to develop, is a delicate operation.
A new product launched at the Arab Health exhibition uses pulse wave data, eliminating the painful needle pricking procedure for a blood sample, to check for blood sugar levels.
He hoped that their efforts to create awareness regarding problems like pricking of IV bottles, needle stick injuries which spreads Hepatitis and other viral infections will help reduce the prevalence of Hepatitis in Pakistan.
Give them a good drink before pricking them out, squeeze the whole rootball of seedlings out of the square pots and then gently divide them without damaging any of the roots.
* It may sound easy, but many people have trouble pricking their own finger to draw blood.
The pricking frequency ultimately proved so low that Perrimon has abandoned vortex mixing -- at least for now.
Rose in her sleeping state grows disillusioned as she becomes less and less able to distinguish among her dreams, fated to repeat the unreal cycle of pricking, sleeping, and waking.
It might seem that the line about the elders' pricking their ears was sufficiently accounted for by that, or if not, that in a stanza where thorns are retracted like cats' claws, elders might prick their ears without comment.