unicorn

noun uni·corn \ ˈyü-nə-ˌkȯrn \
|Updated on: 16 Jul 2018
plural unicorns
1 a : a mythical, usually white animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse with long flowing mane and tail and a single often spiraled horn in the middle of the forehead
b : an animal mentioned in the Bible that is usually considered an aurochs, a one-horned rhinoceros, or an antelope
2 : something unusual, rare, or unique
  • There's the elusive unicorn: headphones that do everything well and work in any situation.
  • —Damon Darlin
  • In Washington, D.C., truth is now a veritable unicorn.
  • —Marilyn M. Singleton
  • … he's like baseball's version of a unicorn—a true two-way player.
  • —Tony Paul
3 business : a start-up that is valued at one billion dollars or more
  • … a tech unicorn in Michigan is even more of a rarity, far from Silicon Valley's investor echo chamber.
  • —Scott Martin
  • The blockbuster initial public offering is expected to kick off a revitalized market this year, encouraging IPO debuts by other unicorns, the privately held start-ups whose hefty venture capital funds have allowed them to avoid Wall Street and the legal requirements of a public offering.
  • —Jon Swartz

Recent Examples of unicorn from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unicorn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of unicorn

illustration of unicorn

Origin and Etymology of unicorn

Middle English unicorne, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin unicornis, from Latin, having one horn, from uni- + cornu horn — more at horn

UNICORN Defined for English Language Learners

unicorn

  • : an imaginary animal that looks like a horse and has a straight horn growing from the middle of its forehead


UNICORN Defined for Kids

unicorn

noun uni·corn \ ˈyü-nə-ˌkȯrn \
: an imaginary animal that looks like a horse with one horn in the middle of the forehead

Medical Dictionary

unicorn

adjective uni·corn \ ˈyü-nə-ˌkȯ(ə)rn \
: having a single horn or hornlike process
  • a unicorn uterus


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