Definitions

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.
  • 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

Etymologies

Middle English unicorne, from Old French, from Late Latin ūnicornis, from Latin, having one horn : ūnus, one; + cornū, horn.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Comments

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  • in biking, it's a helmet cam mount which sticks out ahead of the 1 or 2 feet which gives the camera a view of the rider and trail behind.

    January 12, 2013

  • "Guildenstern: A man breaking his journey between one place and another at a third place of no name, character, population or significance, sees a unicorn cross his path and disappear. That in itself is startling, but there are precedents for mystical encounters of various kinds, or to be less extreme, a choice of persuasions to put it down to fancy; until - 'My God,' says the second man, 'I must be dreaming, I thought I saw a unicorn.' At which point, a dimension is added that makes the experience as alarming as it will ever be. A third witness, you understand, adds no further dimension but only spreads it thinner, and a fourth thinner still, and the more witnesses there are, the thinner it gets and the more reasonable it becomes until it is as thin as reality, the name we give to the common experience... 'Look, look' recites the crowd. 'A horse with an arrow in its forehead! It must have been mistaken for a deer.'"
    - Tom Stoppard, 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead'.

    February 14, 2009

  • If anyone else out there comes across a unicorn, please don't shoot it.

    January 12, 2009



  • In 1979, while on a routine hunting expedition with Sir Geoffrey Huntington in Leeds England, professor Orbax was present when Sir Geoffrey shot this majestic beast. The creature was found in a clearing foraging for mandrake root. Zoologists from the Royal Museum in London were unable to accurately denote the genus of this specimen, as it has several features which defy common classification, yet are all consistent with classical legend of the unicorn. Coincidentally, Sir Geoffrey lost his fortune and estate over the next five years to an alcohol addiction coupled with a gambling problem. Sources close to him say it was as if he lost his spark for life. Unfortunately Sir Geoffrey took his own life, leaving the gorgeous remains of the creature to prof. Orbax in his will.

    January 12, 2009

  • Actually I didn't get the cartoon until, serendipitously, the lolcat article from which VanishedOne has been quoting recently was able to explain it for me.

    November 17, 2008

  • Reminds me of a Tove Jansson scene.

    November 16, 2008

  • The cartoon makes me so sad :(

    November 16, 2008

  • Then, according to Lamarck, they evolved into narwhals.

    November 16, 2008

  • I hate when that happens.

    November 16, 2008

  • Unicorns miss Noah's Ark

    November 15, 2008

  • *runs through, looking around for narwhal, does not see*

    August 28, 2008

  • Too swift and fierce to be captured by hunters, the unicorn could only be lured by a virgin seated alone under a tree in the forest.

    April 28, 2008