Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

echidna

play
noun echid·na \i-ˈkid-nə\

Definition of echidna

  1. :  a spiny-coated toothless burrowing nocturnal monotreme mammal (Tachyglossus aculeatus) of Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea that has a long extensible tongue and long heavy claws and that feeds chiefly on ants; also :  a related mammal (Zaglossus bruijni) of New Guinea having a longer snout and shorter spines



Illustration of echidna

Origin and Etymology of echidna

New Latin, from Latin, viper, from Greek — more at ophitic


First Known Use: 1832


Learn More about echidna


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up echidna? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

Get Word of the Day daily email!