unicorn

[yoo-ni-kawrn]
noun
1.
a mythical creature resembling a horse, with a single horn in the center of its forehead: often symbolic of chastity or purity.
2.
a heraldic representation of this animal, in the form of a horse with a lion's tail and with a long, straight, and spirally twisted horn.
3.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Monoceros.
4.
an animal mentioned in the Bible, Deut. 33:17: now believed by some to be a description of a wild ox or rhinoceros.
5.
a former gold coin of Scotland, first issued by James III in 1486, having an obverse bearing the figure of a unicorn.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English unicorne (< Old French) < Latin ūnicornis one-horned, equivalent to uni- uni- + corn(ū) horn + -is adj. suffix

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
unicorn (ˈjuːnɪˌkɔːn)
 
n
1.  an imaginary creature usually depicted as a white horse with one long spiralled horn growing from its forehead
2.  Old Testament a two-horned animal, thought to be either the rhinoceros or the aurochs (Deuteronomy 33:17): mistranslation in the Authorized Version of the original Hebrew
 
[C13: from Old French unicorne, from Latin ūnicornis one-horned, from ūnus one + cornu a horn]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

unicorn
early 13c., from O.Fr. unicorne, from L.L. unicornus (Vulgate), from noun use of L. unicornis (adj.) "having one horn," from uni- "one" (see uni-) + cornus "horn" (see horn). The L.L. word translates Gk. monoceros, itself rendering Heb. re'em, which
was probably a kind of wild ox. According to Pliny, a creature with a horse's body, deer's head, elephant's feet, lion's tail, and one black horn two cubits long projecting from its forehead. Cf. Ger. Einhorn, Welsh ungorn, Bret. uncorn, O.C.S. ino-rogu.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

unicorn definition


A mythical animal resembling a small horse but with a long, straight horn growing out of its forehead. Often it was described as having the legs of a deer and the tail of a lion. Some sources claim it was visible only to virgins.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Unicorn definition


described as an animal of great ferocity and strength (Num. 23:22, R.V., "wild ox," marg., "ox-antelope;" 24:8; Isa. 34:7, R.V., "wild oxen"), and untamable (Job 39:9). It was in reality a two-horned animal; but the exact reference of the word so rendered (reem) is doubtful. Some have supposed it to be the buffalo; others, the white antelope, called by the Arabs rim. Most probably, however, the word denotes the Bos primigenius ("primitive ox"), which is now extinct all over the world. This was the auerochs of the Germans, and the urus described by Caesar (Gal. Bel., vi.28) as inhabiting the Hercynian forest. The word thus rendered has been found in an Assyrian inscription written over the wild ox or bison, which some also suppose to be the animal intended (comp. Deut. 33:17; Ps. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences for unicorns
For example, humans have the ability to communicate about unicorns and outer space.
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