Porcupine Por"cu*pine, n. [OE. porkepyn, porpentine, OF. porc-espi, F. porc-['e]pic (cf. It. porco spino, porco spinoso, Sp. puerco espino, puerco espin, fr. L. porcus swine + spina thorn, spine). The last part of the French word is perhaps a corruption from the It. or Sp.; cf. F. ['e]pi ear, a spike of grain, L. spica. See {Pork}, {Spike} a large nail, {Spine}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any Old Word rodent of the genus {Hystrix}, having the back covered with long, sharp, erectile spines or quills, sometimes a foot long. The common species of Europe and Asia ({Hystrix cristata}) is the best known. [1913 Webster]

2. (Zo["o]l.) Any species of {Erethizon} and related genera, native of America. They are related to the true porcupines, but have shorter spines, and are arboreal in their habits. The Canada porcupine ({Erethizon dorsatus}) is a well known species. [1913 Webster]

{Porcupine ant-eater} (Zo["o]l.), the echidna.

{Porcupine crab} (Zo["o]l.), a large spiny Japanese crab ({Acantholithodes hystrix}).

{Porcupine disease} (Med.). See {Ichthyosis}.

{Porcupine fish} (Zo["o]l.), any plectognath fish having the body covered with spines which become erect when the body is inflated. See {Diodon}, and {Globefish}.

{Porcupine grass} (Bot.), a grass ({Stipa spartea}) with grains bearing a stout twisted awn, which, by coiling and uncoiling through changes in moisture, propels the sharp-pointed and barbellate grain into the wool and flesh of sheep. It is found from Illinois westward. See Illustration in Appendix.

{Porcupine wood} (Bot.), the hard outer wood of the cocoa palm; -- so called because, when cut horizontally, the markings of the wood resemble the quills of a porcupine. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Porcupine — ist der englische Ausdruck für Stachelschweine weiter der Name Peter Porcupine, Pseudonym von William Cobbett Porcupine Tree (wörtlich übersetzt: Stachelschweinbaum), 1987 gegründete Progressive Rock Band aus England um Gitarrist, Sänger und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Porcupine — Porcupine, SD U.S. Census Designated Place in South Dakota Population (2000): 407 Housing Units (2000): 103 Land area (2000): 9.493955 sq. miles (24.589229 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000):… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • porcupine — [pôr′kyə pīn΄] n. pl. porcupines or porcupine [ME porkepyn < MFr porc espin, spinous hog, spine hog < OIt porcospino < L porcus, pig (see FARROW1) + SPINE] any of a terrestrial Old World family (Hystricidae) or an arboreal New World… …   English World dictionary

  • Porcupine — (spr. pórkjupain, engl., »Stachelschwein«), Pseudonym. s. Cobbett …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Porcupine —   [ pɔːkjʊpaɪn], Goldbergbaugebiet (seit 1907) im Osten der Provinz Ontario, Kanada; Hauptort ist Timmins …   Universal-Lexikon

  • porcupine — c.1400, porke despyne, from O.Fr. porc espin (early 13c.), lit. spiny pig, from L. porcus hog + spina thorn, spine. The word had many forms in M.E. and early Mod.E., including portepyn, porkpen, porkenpick, porpoynt, and Shakespeare s porpentine… …   Etymology dictionary

  • porcupine — ► NOUN ▪ a large rodent with defensive spines or quills on the body and tail. ORIGIN from Latin porcus pig + spina thorn …   English terms dictionary

  • Porcupine — [pôr′kyə pīn΄] [descriptive] river in N Yukon Territory, Canada, flowing into the Yukon River in NE Alas.: 590 mi (949 km) …   English World dictionary

  • Porcupine — Taxobox name = Porcikupines| image caption = North American Porcupine regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Rodentia subordo = Hystricomorpha subdivision ranks = General subdivision = Family Erethizontidae : Coendou :… …   Wikipedia

  • porcupine — /pawr kyeuh puyn /, n. any of several rodents covered with stiff, sharp, erectile spines or quills, as Erethizon dorsatum of North America. [1375 1425; late ME porcupyne, var. of porcapyne; r. porke despyne < MF porc d espine thorny pig. See PORK …   Universalium

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