Porcupine fish
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 fish — ▪ fish       any of the spiny, shallow water fishes of the family Diodontidae, found in seas around the world, especially the species Diodon hystrix. They are related to the puffers and, like them, can inflate their bodies when provoked.… …   Universalium

  • porcupine fish — /ˈpɔkjəpaɪn fɪʃ/ (say pawkyuhpuyn fish) noun (plural porcupine fish or porcupine fishes) any of various species of spiny, self inflating fishes of the family Diodontidae, poisonous to eat, and found in tropical waters. Usage: For variation in the …   Australian English dictionary

  • porcupine fish — Globefish Globe fish , n. (Zo[ o]l.) A plectognath fish of the genera {Diodon}, {Tetrodon}, and allied genera. The globefishes can suck in water or air and distend the body to a more or less globular form. Called also {porcupine fish}, and {sea… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • porcupine fish — noun Date: 1681 any of several bony fishes (family Diodontidae) that have sharp spines covering the body and inflate themselves into a sphere when threatened; especially a spotted chiefly tropical fish (Diodon hystrix) that is olive to brown… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • porcupine fish — noun a spiny tropical marine fish which inflates itself when threatened. [Diodon hystrix and other species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • porcupine fish —   Kōkala, hoana …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • porcupine fish — noun spines become erect when the body is inflated; worldwide in warm waters • Syn: ↑porcupinefish, ↑Diodon hystrix • Hypernyms: ↑spiny puffer • Member Holonyms: ↑Diodon, ↑genus Diodon …   Useful english dictionary

  • ballon porcupine fish — ilgadyglė ežiažuvė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Diodon holacanthus angl. ballon porcupine fish; balloonfish; common porcupine fish; freckled porcupine fish; lesser porcupine fish; long spined… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • common porcupine fish — ilgadyglė ežiažuvė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Diodon holacanthus angl. ballon porcupine fish; balloonfish; common porcupine fish; freckled porcupine fish; lesser porcupine fish; long spined… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • freckled porcupine fish — ilgadyglė ežiažuvė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Diodon holacanthus angl. ballon porcupine fish; balloonfish; common porcupine fish; freckled porcupine fish; lesser porcupine fish; long spined… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

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