Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or characteristic of a goat, especially in strong odor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Goatlike; of or pertaining to a goat or the goats.
  • adj. Of a strong goatish smell.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or having the 179 characteristics of a goat; like a goat; goatish; especially, having a rank smell like that of a goat.
  • n. A fossil amorphous resin, the composition of which has not been determined.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or pertaining to or suggestive of a goat (especially in strong odor)

Etymologies

Middle English hircyne, from Latin hircīnus, from hircus, goat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in its present form in 1650–1660: From Middle English hircyne[2], from Latin hircīnus ("of a goat”, “goat-scented");[1][2][3][4] equivalent to hircus ("a male goat")[2][4] + -īnus ("-ine").[1] Cognates: French hircin[4]. Compare caprine, haedine. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • These tribades are mostly known by peculiarities of form and features, hairy cheeks and upper lips, gruff voices, hircine odour and the large projecting clitoris with erectile powers known to the Arabs as “bazar” hence Tabzír = circumcision or amputation of such clitoris.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • This odor may be entirely different from that normally emanating from the woman, of an acid or hircine character, and sufficiently strong to remain in a room for a considerable period.

    Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 4 Sexual Selection In Man

  • It occurs to me to suggest, as a topic of inquiry in this connection, whether, on that momentous occasion when the goats and the sheep shall be parted, the Constitution and the Honorable Mr. Bagowind, M.C., will be expected to take their places on the left as our hircine vicars.

    The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell

  • These tribades are mostly known by peculiarities of form and features, hairy cheeks and upper lips, gruff voices, hircine odour and the large projecting clitoris with erectile powers known to the Arabs as

    Arabian nights. English

  • It occurs to me to suggest, as a topic of inquiry in this connexion, whether, on that momentous occasion when the goats and the sheep shall be parted, the Constitution and the Honourable Mr. Bagowind, M.C., will be expected to take their places on the left as our hircine vicars.

    The Biglow Papers

  • That pale Judas face, with scanty, hircine beard, and an expression changing often from spiteful to cunning, could belong only to a Yankee paymaster or commissary, detected in his frauds before he had made up a pile high enough to defy justice; for swindler is not _quite_ safe till he is nearly a "milliner."

    Border and Bastille

  • The landlady saw, calmly put down her work, and coming up, pulled a hircine man or two hither, and pushed a hircine man or two thither, with the impassive countenance of a housewife moving her furniture.

    The Cloister and the Hearth

  • If Miss Jewell includes both caprine and hircine, ought we to add, then, masculine and feminine?

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol IV No 1

  • "dullness" which many modern readers inevitably feel, and some modern blockheads think it creditable to allege, in Scott, consists not a little in his absolute purity from every loathsome element or excitement of the lower passions; so that people who live habitually in Satyric or hircine conditions of thought find him as insipid as they would a picture of Angelico's.

    On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature

  • Herr Urian to give you a hircine metamorphosis, Clarian? "

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 32, June, 1860

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Comments

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  • There's a pronunciation now--should we ask for chelster's opinion?

    April 19, 2011

  • "The landlady saw, calmly put down her work, and coining up, pulled a hircine man or two hither, and pushed a hircine man or two thither, with the impassive countenance of a housewife moving her furniture." Cloister and Hearth, ch. xxiv.

    April 19, 2011

  • I'm gonna guess it's "hear-sine" or "hir-sine," since it's in the family of words like ursine and bovine.

    P.S. I love the "fossil resin" tag. Ahh, Wordie...

    August 3, 2009

  • I'm sure one of the dictionaries linked to the icons above could help you out, PU. This is not a word I know. But this is the kind of question that makes me wonder if the social-networking generation (generally speaking) knows how to use reference tools or merely relies on twittered opinion.

    August 3, 2009

  • Does anyone know if it's 'hir-kine' or 'hir-sine' or 'hir-seen'?

    August 3, 2009