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hedgehog

[hej-hog, -hawg] /ˈhɛdʒˌhɒg, -ˌhɔg/
noun
1.
an Old World, insect-eating mammal of the genus Erinaceus, especially E. europaeus, having spiny hairs on the back and sides.
2.
the porcupine.
3.
Military.
  1. a portable obstacle made of crossed logs in the shape of an hourglass, usually laced with barbed wire.
  2. an obstructive device consisting of steel bars, angle irons, etc., usually embedded in concrete, designed to damage and impede the boats and tanks of a landing force on a beach.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English heyghoge. See hedge, hog
Related forms
hedgehoggy, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hedgehog
  • Probably confused by changing climate patterns, hedgehog mothers gave birth relatively late in the year.
British Dictionary definitions for hedgehog

hedgehog

/ˈhɛdʒˌhɒɡ/
noun
1.
any small nocturnal Old World mammal of the genus Erinaceus, such as E. europaeus, and related genera, having a protective covering of spines on the back: family Erinaceidae, order Insectivora (insectivores) related adjective erinaceous
2.
any other insectivore of the family Erinaceidae, such as the moon rat
3.
(US) any of various other spiny animals, esp the porcupine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hedgehog
n.

mid-15c. (replacing Old English igl), from hedge (n.) + hog (n.); the second element a reference to its pig-like snout.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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17
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