urchin

play
noun ur·chin \ˈər-chən\

Definition of urchin

  1. 1 archaic :  hedgehog 1a

  2. 2 :  a mischievous and often poor and raggedly clothed youngster street urchins

  3. 3 :  sea urchin

Examples of urchin in a sentence

  1. 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

Other Invertebrates (Except Insects) Terms


URCHIN Defined for English Language Learners

urchin

play
noun ur·chin \ˈər-chən\

Definition of urchin for English Language Learners

  • : a usually poor and dirty child who annoys people or causes minor trouble


URCHIN Defined for Kids

urchin

play
noun ur·chin \ˈər-chən\

Definition of urchin for Students

  1. 1 :  a mischievous or disrespectful youngster

  2. 2 :  sea urchin

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.



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