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The word unicorn can refer to the following:

  • Legendary creature similar to a horse or an antelope with a single horn on its forehead.
  • (Obsolete) Indian rhinoceros, rhinoceros unicornis.
  • (Obsolete) Sea-unicorn, narwhal, monodon monoceros.
  • A real but very rare hooved animal.
  • The vertical shaft of the cross.

For of the antenna, which is a part of a cross, the ends are called horns; while the midway stake of the whole frame is the unicorn.

—Tertullian, 'Five Books Against Marcion,' Book III, Chapter 18

But Christ was therein signified: 'bull,' by reason of each of His two characters, — to some fierce, as Judge; to others gentle, as Savior; whose “horns” were to be the extremities of the cross. For even in a ship’s yard — which is part of a cross — this is the name by which the extremities are called; while the central pole of the mast is a 'unicorn.'

—Tertullian, 'An Answer to the Jews,' Chapter 10, p. 297 ECF

Now, no one could say or prove that the horns of an unicorn represent any other fact or figure than the type which portrays the cross. For the one beam is placed upright, from which the highest extremity is raised up into a horn, when the other beam is fitted on to it, and the ends appear on both sides as horns joined on to the one horn. And the part which is fixed in the center, on which are suspended those who are crucified, also stands out like a horn; and it also looks like a horn conjoined and fixed with the other horns.

—Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 91

  • A company valued at over 1 billion USD. The term has been coined by Aileen Lee on 2 November 2013 in an article at TechCrunch.com.
  • An 18th- and 19th-century Russian cannon.

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