[ ih-kahy-nuhs ]

noun,plural e·chi·ni [ih-kahy-nahy]. /ɪˈkaɪ naɪ/.
  1. any sea urchin of the genus Echinus.

  2. Architecture.

    • an ovolo molding, especially one having an outline with several radii or one carved with an egg-and-dart pattern.

    • the prominent circular molding supporting the abacus of a Doric or Tuscan capital.

    • Also called cymatium. the circular molding, usually carved with an egg-and-dart pattern, forming part of an Ionic capital between the volutes and under the balteus.

Origin of echinus

1325–75; Middle English <Latin <Greek echînos hedgehog, sea urchin

Words Nearby echinus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use echinus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for echinus


/ (ɪˈkaɪnəs) /

nounplural -ni (-naɪ)
  1. architect an ovolo moulding between the shaft and the abacus of a Doric column

  2. any of the sea urchins of the genus Echinus, such as E. esculentus (edible sea urchin) of the Mediterranean

Origin of echinus

C14: from Latin, from Greek ekhinos

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012