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porcupine

[pawr-kyuh-pahyn] /ˈpɔr kyəˌpaɪn/
noun
1.
any of several rodents covered with stiff, sharp, erectile spines or quills, as Erethizon dorsatum of North America.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English porcupyne, variant of porcapyne; replacing porke despyne < Middle French porc d'espine thorny pig. See pork, spine
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for porcupine
  • He cut the tongue from a slow porcupine and watched it stand in surprise at his feet, bleeding until it toppled.
  • porcupine quills sit in a vase on one of his bookshelves.
  • porcupine quills are barbed, and tend to work their way deeper into flesh over time if not extracted.
  • The porcupine has a small face, with a blunt muzzle, and a tapering head and neck.
  • They are attached loosely to the porcupine, so they come out easily.
British Dictionary definitions for porcupine

porcupine

/ˈpɔːkjʊˌpaɪn/
noun
1.
any of various large hystricomorph rodents of the families Hystricidae, of Africa, Indonesia, S Europe, and S Asia, and Erethizontidae, of the New World. All species have a body covering of protective spines or quills
Derived Forms
porcupinish, adjective
porcupiny, adjective
Word Origin
C14 porc despyne pig with spines, from Old French porc espin; see pork, spine
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 porcupine
n.

c.1400, porke despyne, from Old French porc-espin (early 13c., Modern French porc-épic), literally "spiny pig," from Latin porcus "hog" + spina "thorn, spine" (see spike (n.1)). The word had many forms in Middle English and early Modern English, including portepyn, porkpen, porkenpick, porpoynt, and Shakespeare's porpentine (in "Hamlet").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for porcupine

porcupine

noun

A frayed wire rope (WWII Navy)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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