Hedge"hog` (?), 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.
The Canadian porcupine.[U.S]
A species of Medicago (M. intertexta), the pods of which are armed with short spines; -- popularly so called. Loudon.
A form of dredging machine. Knight.
Hedgehog caterpillar (Zoöl.), the hairy larvæ of several species of bombycid moths, as of the Isabella moth. It curls up like a hedgehog when disturbed. See Woolly bear, and Isabella moth. --
Hedgehog fish (Zoöl.), any spinose plectognath fish, esp. of the genus Diodon; the porcupine fish. --
Hedgehog grass (Bot.), a grass with spiny involucres, growing on sandy shores; burgrass (Cenchrus tribuloides). --
Hedgehog rat (Zoöl.), one of several West Indian rodents, allied to the porcupines, but with ratlike tails, and few quills, or only stiff bristles. The hedgehog rats belong to Capromys, Plagiodon, and allied genera. --
Hedgehog shell (Zoöl.), any spinose, marine, univalve shell of the genus Murex. --
Hedgehog thistle (Bot.), a plant of the Cactus family, globular in form, and covered with spines (Echinocactus). --
Sea hedgehog. See Diodon.
© Webster 1913
Hedge"hog`, n. (Elec.)
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.
© Webster 1913