porcupine

[ pawr-kyuh-pahyn ]
/ ˈpɔr kyəˌpaɪn /

noun

any of several rodents covered with stiff, sharp, erectile spines or quills, as Erethizon dorsatum of North America.

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Origin of porcupine

1375–1425; late Middle English porcupyne, variant of porcapyne; replacing porke despyne<Middle French porc d'espine thorny pig. See pork, spine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for porcupine

British Dictionary definitions for porcupine

porcupine
/ (ˈpɔːkjʊˌpaɪn) /

noun

any of various large hystricomorph rodents of the families Hystricidae, of Africa, Indonesia, S Europe, and S Asia, and Erethizontidae, of the New World. All species have a body covering of protective spines or quills

Derived forms of porcupine

porcupinish, adjectiveporcupiny, adjective

Word Origin for porcupine

C14 porc despyne pig with spines, from Old French porc espin; see pork, spine
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