from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A fabled creature symbolic of virginity and usually represented as a horse with a single straight spiraled horn projecting from its forehead.
- n. Heraldry A representation of this beast, having a horse's body, a stag's legs, a lion's tail, and a straight spiraled horn growing from its forehead, especially employed as a supporter for the Royal Arms of Great Britain or of Scotland.
- n. Astronomy The constellation Monoceros.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A mythical beast traditionally represented as having the legs of a buck, the body of a horse, the tail of a lion with a single spiral horn on its head; a symbol of virginity.
- n. A heraldic representation of such a beast used as a charge or as a supporter; as in the arms of Great Britain and of Scotland.
- n. In various Bible translations, used to render the Latin unicornis or rhinoceros (representing Hebrew רְאֵם); a reem or wild ox.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A fabulous animal with one horn; the monoceros; -- often represented in heraldry as a supporter.
- n. A two-horned animal of some unknown kind, so called in the Authorized Version of the Scriptures.
- n. Any large beetle having a hornlike prominence on the head or prothorax.
- n. The larva of a unicorn moth.
- n. The kamichi; -- called also unicorn bird.
- n. A howitzer.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A traditional or fabulous animal, with a single long horn, the monoceros of classic writers, commonly described as a native of India, but in terms not certainly applicable to any known animal.
- n. A mistranslation in the authorized version of the Bible (Deut. xxxiii. 17, and elsewhere) of the Hebrew word re'ēm.
- n. In heraldry, the representation of the fabulous animal used as a bearing.
- n. The unicorn-fish, unicorn-whale, sea-unicorn, or narwhal, whose enormously long single incisor tooth projects like a horn. See Monodon, monoceros, 3.
- n. The kamichi or horned screamer, Palamedea cornuta; the unicorn-bird. N. Grew. See cut under Palamedea.
- n. A kind of beetle having a single long horn; a unicorn-beetle. Various large beetles literally answer to this definition, being unicornous, with a large single prothoracic horn. See Dynastes, elephant-beetle, Hercules-beetle.
- n. In conchology, a unicorn-shell. See cut under Monoceros.
- n. A pair of horses with a third horse in front; also, the whole equipage.
- n. A Scottish gold coin issued by James III., James IV., and James V., having the figure of a unicorn on the obverse. Its standard weight was 58.89 grains troy, and it was current for 23 shillings Scotch.
- n. [capitalized] In astronomy, the constellation Monoceros.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an imaginary creature represented as a white horse with a long horn growing from its forehead
If most myths have at least one toe in the door of truth than the unicorn is absolutely no exception.
Adding consistency and predictability to magic just means a unicorn is a horse with a horn.
Besides, the other members of the household are pretty easy to beat: Frederick the unicorn is a thinker, not a doer; Snuffles is all claws and teeth, but he's out instantly if you get him in a "sleeper" hold; and Phenny the Phoenix became a pushover after we instituted the "No Spontaneously Combusting Your Opponent" rule.
That's what the unicorn is all about, love, kindness, and peace.
In the novel, a unicorn is a symbol that has a very different meaning for each character.
Using the word "unicorn" is so limiting in every way, and the way both of these used it sounded unnatural.
And sadly, this "unicorn" is one of the more tame entries.
Apparently this persian unicorn is an actual sailor from the region.
That fanciful idea of a unicorn is not just magicked into mythology from nowhere.
But of course the unicorn is WHITE and therefore racist in nature.