[ ur-chin ]
/ ˈɜr tʃɪn /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: urchin / urchins on Thesaurus.com


a mischievous boy.
any small boy or youngster.
either of two small rollers covered with card clothing used in conjunction with the cylinder in carding.
Chiefly British Dialect. a hedgehog.
Obsolete. an elf or mischievous sprite.



Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of urchin

1300–50; Middle English urchun, urchon hedgehog <Old North French (h)erichon,Old French heriçun<Vulgar Latin *hēriciōn- (stem of *hēriciō), equivalent to Latin ēric(ius) hedgehog + -iōn--ion

Words nearby urchin

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for urchin

British Dictionary definitions for urchin

/ (ˈɜːtʃɪn) /


a mischievous roguish child, esp one who is young, small, or raggedly dressed
an archaic or dialect name for a hedgehog
either of the two cylinders in a carding machine that are covered with carding cloth
obsolete an elf or sprite

Word Origin for urchin

C13: urchon, from Old French heriçon, from Latin ēricius hedgehog, from ēr, related to Greek khēr hedgehog
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
See Today's Synonym