[ ur-chin ]
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  1. a mischievous boy.

  2. any small boy or youngster.

  1. either of two small rollers covered with card clothing used in conjunction with the cylinder in carding.

  2. Chiefly British Dialect. a hedgehog.

  3. Obsolete. an elf or mischievous sprite.

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

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How to use urchin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for urchin


/ (ˈɜːtʃɪn) /

  1. a mischievous roguish child, esp one who is young, small, or raggedly dressed

  1. an archaic or dialect name for a hedgehog

  2. either of the two cylinders in a carding machine that are covered with carding cloth

  3. obsolete an elf or sprite

Origin of 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