unicorn

[ yoo-ni-kawrn ]

noun
  1. a mythical creature resembling a horse, with a single horn in the center of its forehead: often symbolic of chastity or purity.

  2. 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.

  1. Unicorn, Astronomy. the constellation Monoceros.

  2. an animal mentioned in the Bible, Deuteronomy 33:17: now believed by some to be a description of a wild ox or rhinoceros.

  3. a former gold coin of Scotland, first issued by James III in 1486, having an obverse bearing the figure of a unicorn.

  4. Business. a relatively new company, usually less than ten years old, that is valued at $1 billion or more by public or private investors.

  5. a person or thing that is rare and highly valued, or is a hypothetical ideal: Hiring unicorns is expensive, but their productivity can take your enterprise to the next level.Finding jeans that are comfortable and fashionable—that’s my unicorn.

  6. Slang. a bisexual woman who joins an established heterosexual couple in a sexual encounter or relationship.

Idioms about unicorn

  1. chase a / the unicorn, to pursue an unattainable object or impossible goal, especially when diverting effort or resources away from an existing commitment or practical plan.

Origin of unicorn

1
First recorded in 1200–1250; Middle English, from Old French unicorne, from the Latin adjective ūnicornis “one-horned” (used as a noun in the Vulgate and possibly referring to the rhinoceros), a loan translation from the Greek noun and adjective monókerōs, equivalent to uni- “one” + corn(ū) “horn” + -is adjective suffix; see uni-, horn

Words Nearby unicorn

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How to use unicorn in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for unicorn

unicorn

/ (ˈjuːnɪˌkɔːn) /


noun
  1. an imaginary creature usually depicted as a white horse with one long spiralled horn growing from its forehead

  2. 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

Origin of unicorn

1
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

Cultural 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.