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hedgehog

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noun hedge·hog \ˈhej-ˌhȯg, -ˌhäg\

Simple Definition of hedgehog

  • : a small, brown animal of Europe, Asia, and Africa that has sharp spines on its back and that can roll itself up into a ball

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of hedgehog

  1. 1 a :  any of a subfamily (Erinaceinae) of Eurasian and African nocturnal insectivores that have both hair and spines which they present outwardly by rolling themselves up when threatened b :  any of several spiny mammals (as a porcupine)

  2. 2 a :  a military defensive obstacle (as of barbed wire) b :  a well-fortified military stronghold

Did You Know?

There are 14 species of hedgehogs. All prefer animal food, such as insects, but will eat plant material. There are nine species of spiny hedgehogs. They have short, barbless spines on the back, a round body, small head, pointed face, and little or no tail, and range from 4 in (10 cm) to 17 in (44 cm) long. Spiny hedgehogs are native to Britain, North Africa, and Asia; one species was introduced into New Zealand. There are five species of hairy hedgehog; all are Asian. They have coarse guard hairs, but no spines and are extremely malodorous. The common hairy hedgehog may be 18 in (46 cm) long and have a 12-in (30 cm) tail.

Illustration of hedgehog

15th Century

First Known Use of hedgehog

15th century


HEDGEHOG Defined for Kids

hedgehog

play
noun hedge·hog \ˈhej-ˌhȯg, -ˌhäg\

Definition of hedgehog for Students

  1. 1 :  a mammal of Europe, Asia, and Africa that eats insects, has sharp spines mixed with the hair on its back, and is able to roll itself up into a ball when threatened

  2. 2 :  porcupine





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