ur·​chin | \ ˈər-chən How to pronounce urchin (audio) \

Definition of urchin

1 archaic : hedgehog sense 1a
2 : a mischievous and often poor and raggedly clothed youngster street urchins

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Examples of urchin in a Sentence

we could never resist the little urchin's pleas for candy
Recent Examples on the Web Remove the cut portion of the urchin and drain it of fluid and internal organs. Popular Science, "14 wild edibles you can pull right out of the ocean," 19 Oct. 2020 Van Peebles portrays Sweetback, a street urchin who is radicalized after being framed for murder and witnessing the all-too-familiar scenario of white cops brutalizing an unarmed Black man. Artel Great, The New Republic, "Black Cinema Matters," 11 Sep. 2020 Still, the movie will steal your heart like a street urchin picking your pocket every time. cleveland, "Before you watch ‘Hamilton,’ here are 15 movies based on Broadway musicals, ranked," 1 July 2020 The early experiments with the urchins and their feed seem successful. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "A new solution to California’s sea urchin problem: Ranch them and eat them," 5 Nov. 2019 But, in fairness, none has been quite as startling as this 16th-century pope’s appointment of an ignorant teenage street urchin as a cardinal. Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, "Gene Weingarten: Am I judging Trump too harshly? He isn’t the only infantile leader the world has ever seen.," 19 Sep. 2019 The song drifts through the ocean, lulling sea horses, cheering urchins, calming octopuses. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: ‘I Voted’," 24 Jan. 2020 Because the remains of many recent and fossil urchins seem to have healed sizable fractures, the researchers say their subject likely lived long enough to begin to regenerate. Ian Randall, Science | AAAS, "Watch a half-dead sea urchin get menaced by a hungry crab—and live to tell the tale," 21 Apr. 2020 Numbers released by Oregon’s wildlife agency show 350 million of the urchins on one reef in southern Oregon alone – a 10,450% increase since 2014. USA TODAY, "Guitar hotel, creepy dolls, slime museum: News from around our 50 states," 25 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of urchin

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for urchin

Middle English yrchoun, urchoun, from Anglo-French heriçun, hirechoun, from Old French *eriz, from Latin ericius, from eris; akin to Greek chēr hedgehog

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Time Traveler for urchin

Time Traveler

The first known use of urchin was in the 14th century

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Statistics for urchin

Last Updated

1 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Urchin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urchin. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for urchin


How to pronounce urchin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of urchin

old-fashioned : a usually poor and dirty child who annoys people or causes minor trouble


ur·​chin | \ ˈər-chən How to pronounce urchin (audio) \

Kids Definition of urchin

1 : a mischievous or disrespectful youngster

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