Definition of urchin in English:


Line breaks: ur¦chin
Pronunciation: /ˈəːtʃɪn


1A young child who is poorly or raggedly dressed: he was surrounded by a dozen street urchins in rags
More example sentences
  • He had told her that there would always be street urchins, to young and weak to work, scouring the streets for pockets to pick.
  • The scallywags and street urchins of 1920s Kingston had come up with a new way of extracting a few pennies from unsuspecting members of the public.
  • Club secretary Brian Mulenga, who has been there from the start, says the team evolved from a clutch of ragged street urchins who toyed with homemade plastic balls on dusty patches of land.
mischievous child, imp, monkey, Puck, rascal, rogue, minx, mischief-maker, prankster, tearaway;
informal scamp, scallywag, brat, whippersnapper, horror, varmint, scarecrow
British informal perisher, pickle, tinker
North American informal hellion
dated jackanapes, rip, gamin, gamine
historical mudlark
2 dialect A hedgehog.
More example sentences
  • The name sea urchin comes from an old English meaning of urchin: hedgehog.
3 short for sea urchin.
More example sentences
  • Kids also enjoy the tide pool touch tank filled with sea stars, urchins, and horseshoe crabs.
  • Animals examined as part of the study include deep-ocean sea cucumbers, urchins and brittle stars.
  • You will often find species of shrimp living on urchins and starfish in the tropics and, if you look carefully, might also find very small hermit crabs adopting the same behaviour, particularly on starfish.


Middle English hirchon, urchon 'hedgehog', from Old Northern French herichon, based on Latin hericius 'hedgehog'.

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Pronunciation: ˈdeɪktɪk
denoting a word whose meaning depends on context...