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Unicorn with a maiden, fresco in Palazzo Farnese, Rome, probably by Domenichino, ca 1602 (1)

From Anglo-Norman unicorne, Old French unicorne, and their source, Latin ūnicornis, from unus ‎(one) + cornu ‎(horn).



unicorn ‎(plural unicorns)

  1. (Discuss(+) this sense) A mythical beast resembling a horse with a single, straight, spiraled horn projecting from its forehead.
  2. (finance) A startup company whose valuation has exceeded one billion U.S. dollars, is solely backed by venture capitalists, and which has yet to have an IPO.
  3. A heraldic representation of such a beast used as a charge or as a supporter; as in the arms of Great Britain and of Scotland.
  4. (historical) In various Bible translations, used to render the Latin unicornis or rhinoceros (representing Hebrew רְאֵם); a reem or wild ox.
    • 1611, Bible (KJV), Numbers 24:8:
      God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
  5. Any large beetle having a horn-like prominence on the head or prothorax, especially the Hercules beetle, Dynastes tityus.
  6. The larva of a unicorn moth.
  7. The kamichi, or unicorn bird.
  8. (military) A howitzer.
  9. (sexual slang) a single, usually bisexual woman who participates in swinging and/or polyamory.




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