The Thomson scattering in an ultraintense ( approximately 10(18) W cm(-2)) and ultrashort (20 fs) laser field is calculated that demonstrates different characteristics from those of the low-intensity field case. The electron trajectory no longer conforms to a figure-eight pattern, and the spectra demonstrate complex shifting and broadening to suggest that Thomson scattering can be used for characterizing pulsed lasers. The initial phase at the electron entrance of the field can critically affect the Thomson scattering, but its effect is weighted by the intensity profile of the field. As a result, the fourfold symmetry of the radiation pattern breaks down when the electron enters the field closer to the pulse peak. The relationship between the Thomson scattering and Compton scattering in the high field is analyzed.