Porcupine grass
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 grass — noun 1. : a tall stout grass (Stipa spartea) of the western United States that has grains with long hygroscopic awns which by their twisting and untwisting often penetrate the wool and even the flesh of sheep and that affords good forage and hay… …   Useful english dictionary

  • porcupine grass — ašuotė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Šeima. Migliniai – Poaceae (R. Br.) Barnhart atitikmenys: lot. Stipa angl. brushgrass; feathergrass; needlegrass; porcupine grass vok. Federgras; Pfriemengras rus. ковылек; ковыль lenk. ostnica …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

  • porcupine grass — /ˈpɔkjəpaɪn gras/ (say pawkyuhpuyn grahs) noun any species of the genus Triodia, comprising spiny leaved, tussock forming grasses of inland Australia, and the western US …   Australian English dictionary

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Porcupine ant-eater — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Porcupine crab — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Porcupine disease — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Porcupine wood — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Grass — Grass, n. [OE. gras, gres, gers, AS, gr[ae]s, g[ae]rs; akin to OFries. gres, gers, OS., D., G., Icel., & Goth. gras, Dan. gr[ae]s, Sw. gr[aum]s, and prob. to E. green, grow. Cf. {Graze}.] 1. Popularly: Herbage; the plants which constitute the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”