unicorn

[ yoo-ni-kawrn ]
/ ˈyu nɪˌkɔrn /

noun

a mythical creature resembling a horse, with a single horn in the center of its forehead: often symbolic of chastity or purity.
a heraldic representation of this animal, in the form of a horse with a lion's tail and with a long, straight, and spirally twisted horn.
(initial capital letter) Genetics. the constellation Monoceros.
an animal mentioned in the Bible, Deut. 33:17: now believed by some to be a description of a wild ox or rhinoceros.
a former gold coin of Scotland, first issued by James III in 1486, having an obverse bearing the figure of a unicorn.
Finance. a relatively new company, usually less than ten years old, that is valued at $1 billion or more by public or private investors.

Origin of unicorn

1175–1225; Middle English unicorne (< Old French) < Latin ūnicornis one-horned, equivalent to uni- uni- + corn(ū) horn + -is adj. suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for unicorn

unicorn
/ (ˈjuːnɪˌkɔːn) /

noun

an imaginary creature usually depicted as a white horse with one long spiralled horn growing from its forehead
Old Testament a two-horned animal, thought to be either the rhinoceros or the aurochs (Deuteronomy 33:17): mistranslation in the Authorized Version of the original Hebrew

Word Origin for unicorn

C13: from Old French unicorne, from Latin ūnicornis one-horned, from ūnus one + cornu a horn
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

Culture definitions for unicorn

unicorn

A mythical animal resembling a small horse but with a long, straight horn growing out of its forehead. Often it was described as having the legs of a deer and the tail of a lion. Some sources claim it was visible only to virgins.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.