pl. -·pines· or -·pine·
any of a terrestrial Old World family (Hystricidae) or an arboreal New World family (Erethizontidae) of rodents, having coarse hair mixed with long, stiff, sharp spines that can be erected
Origin of porcupineMiddle English porkepyn ; from Middle French porc espin, spinous hog, spine hog ; from OIt porcospino ; from Classical Latin porcus, pig (see farrow) + spine
river in N Yukon Territory, Canada, flowing into the Yukon River in NE Alas.: 590 mi (949 km)
Any of various rodents of the family Hystricidae, of Eurasia and Africa, or the family Erethizontidae, of the Americas, having long, sharp, erectile quills.
Origin of porcupineMiddle English porke despine, from Old French porc espin, ultimately (perhaps via Old Italian porcospino) from Vulgar Latin *porcosp&imacron;nus : Latin porcus, pig; see porko- in Indo-European roots + Latin sp&imacron;na, thorn, spine (probably translation of Late Greek akanthokhoiros, hedgehog : Greek akantha, thorn + Greek khoiros, pig).
North American porcupine