• IPA: /ˈhɛdʒhɒɡ/

hedgehog (plural hedgehogs)

  1. A small mammal, of the family Erinaceidae or subfamily Erinaceinae (spiny hedgehog, the latter characterized by their spiny back and often by the habit of rolling up into a ball when attacked.)
  2. (US) Any of several spiny mammals, such as the porcupine, that are similar to the hedgehog.
  3. A type of moveable military barricade made from crossed logs or steel bars, laced with barbed wire, used to damage or impede tanks and vehicles; Czech hedgehog.
  4. (informal, military, historical) A spigot mortar-type of depth charge weapon from World War II that simultaneously fires a number of explosives into the water to create a pattern of underwater explosions intended to attack submerged submarines.
  5. (Australia) A type of chocolate cake (or slice), somewhat similar to an American brownie.
    • 2005, Paul Mitchell, The Favourite, Frank Moorhouse, The Best Australian Stories 2005, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=OBRMpu_VrysC&pg=PA145&dq=%22hedgehog%22|%22hedgehogs%22+slice|cake+australia+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pnp9T4uPGKXQiALP_fyzDQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false page 145],
      There are hedgehogs with sultanas as well as breadcrumbs, carrot cakes and fruitcakes and banana walnut loaves.
    • 2008, Lili Wilkinson, The Not Quite Perfect Boyfriend, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=yX8LNt4ErAsC&pg=PT13&dq=%22hedgehog%22|%22hedgehogs%22+slice|cake+australia+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GYR9T7ivKIqfiQKW9_zuDQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22hedgehog%22|%22hedgehogs%22%20slice|cake%20australia%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false unnumbered page],
      I am so flustered that I order a vanilla slice instead of hedgehog.
  6. A form of dredging machine.
    • 1868, "Dredging," article in Charles Tomlinson (editor), Cyclopædia of Useful Arts, Mechanical and Chemical, Manufactures, Mining, and Engineering, Volume 1, page 520 ↗,
      The first machines merely loosened, but did not raise the stuff, a scouring being afterwards effected by means of sluices. These machines consisted of large bars or prongs placed vertically in a frame, and being fastened to a barge placed in the line of the sluices, the whole was inpelled forward by the current, thereby scouring the bed. Such a machine, called a hedgehog, is still used in Lincolnshire.
  7. Certain flowering plants with parts resembling a member of family Erinaceidae
    1. Medicago intertexta, the pods of which are armed with short spines.
    2. Retzia capensis of South Africa.
  8. The edible fungus Hydnum repandum.
    Synonyms: sweet tooth, wood hedgehog
    • 1998, Randy Molina, ‎David Pilz, Managing Forest Ecosystems to Conserve Fungus Diversity and Sustain Wild Mushroom Harvests
      Hedgehogs fruit from autumn until late spring. Many consumers are still unfamiliar with hedgehogs, and they have a relatively small commercial trade.
  9. A kind of electrical transformer with open magnetic circuit, the ends of the iron wire core being turned outward and presenting a bristling appearance.
  10. A way of serving food at a party, consisting of a half melon or potato etc. with individual cocktail sticks of cheese and pineapple stuck into it.
  • (mammal with spines) urchin (archaic), furze-pig (West Country), fuzz-pig (West Country), hedgepig (South England), hedgy-boar (Devon), prickly-pig (Yorkshire), Erinaceus europaeus
  • (Medicago intertexta) Calvary clover, Calvary medick, hedgehog medick
Translations Translations
  • Russian: ёж

hedgehog (hedgehogs, present participle hedgehogging; past and past participle hedgehogged)

  1. (military) To make use of a hedgehog barricade as a defensive maneuver.
  2. To array with spiky projections like the quills of a hedgehog.
  3. To curl up into a defensive ball.

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