[pawr-kyuh-pahyn] /ˈpɔr kyəˌpaɪn/

any of several rodents covered with stiff, sharp, erectile spines or quills, as Erethizon dorsatum of North America.
any of various large hystricomorph rodents of the families Hystricidae, of Africa, Indonesia, S Europe, and S Asia, and Erethizontidae, of the New World. All species have a body covering of protective spines or quills

c.1400, porke despyne, from Old French porc-espin (early 13c., Modern French porc-épic), literally “spiny pig,” from Latin porcus “hog” + spina “thorn, spine” (see spike (n.1)). The word had many forms in Middle English and early Modern English, including portepyn, porkpen, porkenpick, porpoynt, and Shakespeare’s porpentine (in “Hamlet”).


A frayed wire rope (WWII Navy)


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    noun 1. an echidna or spiny anteater.

  • Porcupinefish

    [pawr-kyuh-pahyn-fish] /ˈpɔr kyəˌpaɪnˌfɪʃ/ noun, plural (especially collectively) porcupinefish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) porcupinefishes. 1. any of several of the family Diodontidae, especially Diodon hystrix, of tropical seas, capable of inflating the body with water or air until it resembles a globe, with erection of the long spines covering the skin.

  • Porcupine grass

    noun 1. (Austral) another name for spinifex (sense 2)

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