Definitions

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

  • n. Any of several small insectivorous mammals of the family Erinaceidae of Europe, Africa, and Asia, having the back covered with dense erectile spines and characteristically rolling into a ball for protection.
  • n. Any of several spiny animals, such as the porcupine, that are similar to the hedgehog.
  • n. A well fortified military position.
  • n. An antisubmarine weapon consisting of several rows of mortar-like dischargers positioned to fire in a circular pattern ahead of a ship.
  • n. An obstacle used against tanks and landing craft, consisting of three crossed iron bars welded or bolted together.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Small mammal, of the subfamily Erinaceinae, characterized by its spiny back and by its habit of rolling itself into a ball when attacked.
  • n. A type of moveable military barricade made from crossed logs or steel bars, laced with barbed wire, used to damage or impede tanks and vehicles; Czech hedgehog.
  • n. The nickname for a spigot mortar-type of depth charge weapon from World War II that simultaneously fires a number of explosives into the water to create a pattern of underwater explosions intended to attack submerged submarines.
  • n. A type of chocolate cake (or slice), somewhat similar to an American brownie.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small European insectivore (Erinaceus Europæus), and other allied species of Asia and Africa, having the hair on the upper part of its body mixed with prickles or spines. It is able to roll itself into a ball so as to present the spines outwardly in every direction. It is nocturnal in its habits, feeding chiefly upon insects.
  • n. The Canadian porcupine.
  • n. A species of Medicago (Medicago intertexta), the pods of which are armed with short spines; -- popularly so called.
  • n. A form of dredging machine.
  • n. A variety of transformer with open magnetic circuit, the ends of the iron wire core being turned outward and presenting a bristling appearance, whence the name.
  • n. a defensive obstacle having pointed barbs extending outward, such as one composed of crossed logs with barbed wire wound around them, or a tangle of steel beams embedded in concrete used to impede or damage landing craft on a beach; also, a position well-fortified with such defensive obstacles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In zoology, an insectivorous animal of the family Erinaceidæ and genus Erinaceus, of which there are several species.
  • n. One of several other animals characterized by numerous spines.
  • n. In botany, a plant with echinate fruits.
  • n. A kind of dredging-machine consisting of a series of spades fixed to the periphery of a cylinder, used for loosening mud, silt, etc., so that it may be carried off by the current.
  • n. In Scotch mining, a broken strand or wire of a rope torn out while in motion and drawn up into a bundle.
  • n. In electricity, same as hedgehog-transformer.

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

  • n. small nocturnal Old World mammal covered with both hair and protective spines
  • n. relatively large rodents with sharp erectile bristles mingled with the fur

Etymologies

From hedge +‎ hog. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • perhaps because I'm a newbie, I expected to see something about the metaphorical use of "hedgehog" in the concept of "the fox and the hedgehog" as two contrasting kinds of intellects.

    Am I just looking in the wrong place?

    April 27, 2013

  • Why is it that hedgehogs just can't share the hedge? :op

    August 26, 2009

  • Visiting the little squee machine again. *sigh* Thank god for cuteness. It makes bad days a little better.

    July 23, 2009

  • That hedgehog is the cutest thing I have seen in a very very long time, Pro. LOOKIT ITS LIL EARS AWWWWW!! Thank you for making my day.

    June 7, 2009

  • They are Erinaceomorpha, but in the past they were considered Insectivora (not a valid taxon anymore).

    June 5, 2009

  • *shakes fist at WeirdNet* Why I oughtta...!!!

    p.s. what the hell are hedgehogs?

    June 5, 2009

  • ARGH! Hedgehogs are NOT rodents! WeirdNet is probably defining porcupine!

    June 5, 2009

  • I love the way WeirdNet calls hedgehogs both 'relatively large rodents' and 'relatively small placental mammals', and then uses plain 'small' in the other definitions. What's the average volume of an adult placental mammal?

    June 5, 2009

  • SQUEEE!! :)

    June 4, 2009

  • Cuteness alert.
    (Sorry, only on facebook.)

    June 4, 2009

  • Interesting (?) citation on mallet.

    January 9, 2009

  • The hedgehog has the appearance of a young pig, but is entirely covered with sharp spines or quills, which protect it from danger. When it is time for the harvest, the hedgehog goes into a vineyard, and climbing up a vine, shakes the grapes off onto the ground. It then rolls around on the fallen grapes to spear them with its quills, so it can carry the fruit home to feed its young. (Some say that the fruit the hedgehog carries away is the apple or fig.)
    (From The Medieval Bestiary)

    October 12, 2008

  • Ha! Exceptionally cute.

    August 9, 2008

  • Cute. Also cute.

    August 8, 2008

  • Why are hedgehogs called TiggyWinkle? Is it a beatrix potter thing?

    January 27, 2008

  • There appears to be a demarcation issue. I defer to the European Commission, or, failing that, the High Table Of Hedgehoggery.

    December 14, 2007

  • The fox knows many little things. The hedgehog knows one big thing: "STAY OUT OF THE CONDOM FACTORY BECAUSE IF YOU GO THERE THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH BIG STICKS".

    December 14, 2007

  • "I learn from Topsell's Gesner, whose authority appears to be Albertus, that the following is the way in which the hedgehog collects and carries home his apples. He says: "His meat is apples, worms, or grapes: when he findeth apples or grapes on the earth, he rolleth himself upon them, until he have filled all his prickles, and then carrieth them home to his den, never bearing above one in his mouth; and if it fortune that one of them fall off by the way, he likewise shaketh off all the residue, and walloweth upon them afresh, until they be all settled upon his back again." - 'Wild Apples', Henry David Thoreau.

    December 14, 2007