Erinaceus Europaeus
Hedgehog Hedge"hog`, n. 1. (Zo["o]l.) A small European insectivore ({Erinaceus Europ[ae]us}), and other allied species of Asia and Africa, having the hair on the upper part of its body mixed with prickles or spines. It is able to roll itself into a ball so as to present the spines outwardly in every direction. It is nocturnal in its habits, feeding chiefly upon insects. [1913 Webster]

2. (Zo["o]l.) The Canadian porcupine.[U.S] [1913 Webster]

3. (Bot.) A species of {Medicago} ({Medicago intertexta}), the pods of which are armed with short spines; -- popularly so called. --Loudon. [1913 Webster]

4. A form of dredging machine. --Knight. [1913 Webster]

5. (Elec.) A variety of transformer with open magnetic circuit, the ends of the iron wire core being turned outward and presenting a bristling appearance, whence the name. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

6. (Mil.) a defensive obstacle having pointed barbs extending outward, such as one composed of crossed logs with barbed wire wound around them, or a tangle of steel beams embedded in concrete used to impede or damage landing craft on a beach; also, a position well-fortified with such defensive obstacles. [PJC]

{Hedgehog caterpillar} (Zo["o]l.), the hairy larv[ae] of several species of bombycid moths, as of the Isabella moth. It curls up like a hedgehog when disturbed. See {Woolly bear}, and {Isabella moth}.

{Hedgehog fish} (Zo["o]l.), any spinose plectognath fish, esp. of the genus {Diodon}; the porcupine fish.

{Hedgehog grass} (Bot.), a grass with spiny involucres, growing on sandy shores; burgrass ({Cenchrus tribuloides}).

{Hedgehog rat} (Zo["o]l.), one of several West Indian rodents, allied to the porcupines, but with ratlike tails, and few quills, or only stiff bristles. The hedgehog rats belong to {Capromys}, {Plagiodon}, and allied genera.

{Hedgehog shell} (Zo["o]l.), any spinose, marine, univalve shell of the genus {Murex}.

{Hedgehog thistle} (Bot.), a plant of the Cactus family, globular in form, and covered with spines ({Echinocactus}).

{Sea hedgehog}. See {Diodon}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Erinaceus europaeus — noun small nocturnal Old World mammal covered with both hair and protective spines • Syn: ↑hedgehog, ↑Erinaceus europeaeus • Hypernyms: ↑insectivore • Member Holonyms: ↑Erinaceus, ↑genus Erinaceus …   Useful english dictionary

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