echidna

See also: Echidna and echidnă

EnglishEdit

 
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An echidna

EtymologyEdit

Debated, but probably from Ancient Greek ἔχιδνα (ékhidna, snake, viper) via Latin echidna. Compare ἐχῖνος (ekhînos, hedgehog, etc.). However, this sense is problematic (unless it is a reference to the ant-eating tongue). The name perhaps belongs to Latin echinus (sea urchin, hedgehog) from the aforementioned Ancient Greek term's alternate sense of "sea-urchin" (also "sharp points"), which Watkins explains as "snake-eater", from ἔχις (ékhis, snake), though it may actually be from Proto-Indo-European *h₁éǵʰis (hedgehog, hedgehog-like animals). The 1810 Encyclopaedia Britannica deduces thus the animal's alternative name as "porcupine ant-eater".

Alternatively, and perhaps more likely, the name refers to Echidna as the name of a serpent-nymph in Greek mythology, "a beautiful woman in the upper part of her body; but instead of legs and feet, she had from the waist downward, the form of a serpent", in which case the animal was named for its mixed features (early naturalists doubted whether it was a mammal or amphibian). Ultimately, the etymology may be from a synthesis of all the roots above. (From OED.)

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: ĕkĭdnä, IPA(key): /əˈkɪdnə/
  • (file)

NounEdit

echidna (plural echidnas or echidnae)

  1. Any of the species of small spined monotremes in family Tachyglossidae, the four extant species of which are found in Australia and southern New Guinea.

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

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AnagramsEdit


ItalianEdit

NounEdit

echidna f (plural echidne)

  1. echidna

LatinEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Ancient Greek ἔχιδνα (ékhidna, viper).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

echidna f (genitive echidnae); first declension

  1. an adder, viper

DeclensionEdit

First-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative echidna echidnae
Genitive echidnae echidnārum
Dative echidnae echidnīs
Accusative echidnam echidnās
Ablative echidnā echidnīs
Vocative echidna echidnae

Related termsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • echidna in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • echidna in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers

RomanianEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

echidna f

  1. definite nominative/accusative singular of echidnă