Simple Definition of urchin
: a usually poor and dirty child who annoys people or causes minor trouble
Examples of urchin in a sentence
<we could never resist the little urchin's pleas for candy>
Origin and Etymology of urchin
Middle English yrchoun, urchoun, from Anglo-French heriçun, hirechoun, from Old French *eriz, from Latin ericius, from eris; akin to Greek chēr hedgehog
First Known Use: 14th century
URCHIN Defined for Kids
History for urchin
The English word urchin first meant “hedgehog.” In the 1500s some people seem to have compared mischievous children to hedgehogs and began calling them urchins. The sea urchin got its name because it has spines like a hedgehog.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up urchin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).