Porcupine Definition

pôrkyə-pīn
porcupines
noun
porcupines
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.
Webster's New World
Synonyms:
hedgehog
proper name
River in N Yukon Territory, Canada, flowing into the Yukon River in NE Alas.: 590 mi (949 km)
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Porcupine

Noun

Singular:
porcupine
Plural:
porcupines

Origin of Porcupine

  • Middle English porke despine from Old French porc espin ultimately (perhaps via Old Italian porcospino) from Vulgar Latin porcospīnus Latin porcus pig porko- in Indo-European roots Latin spīna thorn, spine (probably translation of Late Greek akanthokhoiros hedgehog) (Greek akantha thorn) (Greek khoiros pig)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin porcus (“pig") + spinus (“spine"), hence also spine pig. Cognate with Spanish puercoespín.

    From Wiktionary

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