Definition of hedgehog
1a : 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 threatenedb : any of several spiny mammals (such as a porcupine)
2a : a military defensive obstacle (as of barbed wire)b : a well-fortified military stronghold
Recent Examples of hedgehog from the Web
Officials are looking for whoever threw 15 hedgehogs into an Ocean Beach trash can and left the tiny animals to die.
Vogelklas Karel Schothave has treated more than 300 species of birds, plus a smattering of mammals like hedgehogs and bats.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hedgehog'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
First Known Use of hedgehog
HEDGEHOG Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hedgehog for English Language Learners
: 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
HEDGEHOG Defined for Kids
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