from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A hedgehog.
  • noun A sea-urchin.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] A Linnean genus (1735), formerly used with great latitude, now the typical genus of the family Echinidæ, containing such sea-urchins or sea-eggs as E. sphæra, the common British species, or the Mediterranean E. esculentus, which is extensively used for food, the ovaries being eaten.
  • noun In architecture, the convex projecting molding of eccentric curve in Greek examples, supporting the abacus of the Doric capital; hence, the corresponding feature in capitals of other orders, or any molding of similar profile to the Doric echinus. Such moldings are often sculptured or painted with the egg-and-dart ornament.
  • noun [capitalized] A genus of dicotyledonous plants belonging to the family Euphorbiaceæ. See Mallotus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A hedgehog.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A genus of echinoderms, including the common edible sea urchin of Europe.
  • noun The rounded molding forming the bell of the capital of the Grecian Doric style, which is of a peculiar elastic curve. See Entablature.
  • noun The quarter-round molding (ovolo) of the Roman Doric style. See Illust. of Column
  • noun A name sometimes given to the egg and anchor or egg and dart molding, because that ornament is often identified with the Roman Doric capital. The name probably alludes to the shape of the shell of the sea urchin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun A taxonomic genus within the family Echinidae — certain sea urchins.

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

  • noun ovolo molding between the shaft and the abacus of a Doric column


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin echīnus ("sea urchin"), from Ancient Greek ἐχῖνος (ekhinos).


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