Porcupine meaning

pôrkyə-pīn
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Any of various rodents of the family Hystricidae, of Eurasia and Africa, or the family Erethizontidae, of the Americas, having long, sharp, erectile quills.
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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.
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River in N Yukon Territory, Canada, flowing into the Yukon River in NE Alas.: 590 mi (949 km)
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Any of several rodents of either of the taxonomic families Hystricidae (Old World porcupines) or Erethizontidae (New World porcupines), noted for their sharp spines or quills, which are raised when the animal is attacked or surprised.
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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