[ hej-hog, -hawg ]

  1. an Old World, insect-eating mammal of the genus Erinaceus, especially E. europaeus, having spiny hairs on the back and sides.

  2. the porcupine.

  1. Military.

    • a portable obstacle made of crossed logs in the shape of an hourglass, usually laced with barbed wire.

    • an obstructive device consisting of steel bars, angle irons, etc., usually embedded in concrete, designed to damage and impede the boats and tanks of a landing force on a beach.

Origin of hedgehog

First recorded in 1400–50, hedgehog is from the late Middle English word heyghoge.See hedge, hog

Other words from hedgehog

  • hedgehoggy, adjective

Words Nearby hedgehog

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hedgehog in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hedgehog


/ (ˈhɛdʒˌhɒɡ) /

  1. any small nocturnal Old World mammal of the genus Erinaceus, such as E. europaeus, and related genera, having a protective covering of spines on the back: family Erinaceidae, order Insectivora (insectivores): Related adjective: erinaceous

  2. any other insectivore of the family Erinaceidae, such as the moon rat

  1. US any of various other spiny animals, esp the porcupine

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