In , the formal dictionary,


1-(in stories) an animal like a white horse with a long straight horn on its head-

2- a new company valued at more than a billion dollars, typically in the software or technology sector

The report examines the ascent of start-ups and how unicorns are changing.

But in Urban dictionary,

A Unicorn can refer to a man or a woman and is often used to describe the perfect catch or perfect partner. A Unicorn is a mythical creature, someone amazing who is hard to catch or simply a very rare find. The term is often describing someone who is remarkably attractive (above a 7.9), but not at all batshit crazy, amazing at sex, and has a great personality. This definition is used more often to describe this scenario than in reference to LGBT themes. Gay or straight however you can be a Unicorn because you're beautiful, amazing, fuck like a god/goddess, not crazy as fuck, awesome to be around and even going somewhere with your life. Hot but down to earth? You may be a Unicorn. People will try to catch the Unicorn as if hoping to bring this magical energy in their life but the Unicorn knows only to reveal themselves to the worthy. This makes the encounter all the more magical because it's not a trick of the light it's a mystical mythical magical babe that makes you feel so lucky because you never thought you could find someone amazing as them. Careful, these folks can make the hard of heart easily fall in love. What made you stop messing around with multiple ladies at once?

Man: Because I met a Unicorn. Her name is Lindsay.

Did you meet a Unicorn at the Gay bar tonight?

Cool gay guy: Yes I did, but it's not because they are gay, but because they are amazing.

What level of hotness and personality do you go for Sarah?

Sarah: Unicorn level.

Amy who is your favorite mythical creature?

Amy: John is.

You're girlfriend is crazy amazing!

Girl: I found out she's actually a Unicorn.

And in American movies, people often say "he / she is my unicorn"

But can we say "he /she is a unicorn" (he or she is perfect for everyone)? or "I want to go on a date with a unicorn"?

  • Do people actually say this often in American movies? I've never heard it used this way before, but I guess I don't watch many movies. :) Aug 14, 2020 at 1:35
  • AmE - I have never heard the term unicorn applied to a person. I would have to ask you what you meant if you said it. The Urban Dictionary is filled with all kinds of obscure and regional slang. Don't rely on it.
    – EllieK
    Dec 23, 2020 at 21:01

3 Answers 3


The primary meaning of unicorn is the mythological animal of a horse with a single horn.

Because they don't exist, "a unicorn" represents any unattainable thing.

  • The business sense of a startup company with a valuation of more than $1 billion was formed to express their rarity wikipedia
  • In current British politics, a unicorn is an unattainable thing, often used in discussions about Brexit: "they can promise unicorns without worrying about having to deliver them" Guardian which means "promise the impossible"
  • The usage for describing a girlfriend/boyfriend means "so great she/he is unbelievable" this is quite young US slang: I've never heard anyone say it (UK) [YOUNG US COMMENTERS: if you're a young native US speaker please could you comment about how this is used in your group(s) so I can edit it in here]
  • "Unicorn" has some very specific sexual meanings which vary according to different social subgroups (a simple search will find them) which indicate rarity

I'd suggest being very sure of your audience before using "unicorn" except in the primary, business, or political senses.


By many people’s definition, I am a unicorn. It is VERY well understood in my region (Pacific Northwest of US) and among my social circle (middle class, educated, and sexually liberal). A unicorn, in our definition, is a third partner - primarily a female - that joins a couple (typically a man and bisexual or bi-curious woman) to engage with both of them sexually. She is a unicorn because she enjoys sex with both male and female and is also open to becoming a third partner as opposed to being the primary partner of either other participant.

  • 1
    Welcome to English Language Learners! Do you have any references to back this up? It seems a rather exceptional definition to me (admittedly not a native English speaker) – I've encountered all definitions mentioned in the question but not this one.
    – Glorfindel
    Dec 23, 2020 at 21:32

I have to disagree with the other answer. "Unicorn" has various meanings, the most common of which is "a rare and magical creature", which is to say "a very lucky find". Yes, in some contexts it means "something unattainable" -- but not when you use it to describe an actual person, place, or thing that clearly exists.

Otherwise, without more context "he/she is a unicorn" has no obvious meaning. I get that you're saying that person is unique but it's not clear how. If you want to suggest that person is your perfect romantic partner, say:

He/she is my unicorn.

I wouldn't say something like

I want to go on a date with a unicorn.

because it lacks elegance. I would rather say

I hope to find my unicorn someday.

In this context "unicorn" implies "the rare and magical person who is a perfect romantic partner for me". The dual meaning is appropriate, since not everyone believes such things exist.

(Edit) I get from the downvotes that this expression might be unfamiliar to many English speakers, but it should be a pretty straightforward metaphor in the right context. If you search Google for, "He is my unicorn" you get various sites such as

30 Signs You've Snagged A 'Unicorn' AKA The Man Of Your Dreams

which, along with the Urban dictionary entry, should help validate this answer.

Note, however, that "unicorn" is slang for various things. For those familiar with that community, apparently among "swingers" it means women who enjoys romantic liaisons with couples. As with many slang terms, evaluate the context before assuming its meaning.

  • Can I ask what group you would hear say "He is my unicorn" ? I've never heard anyone say it in the UK.
    – jonathanjo
    Apr 26, 2019 at 6:56
  • @jonathanjo "He is our unicorn", possibly. But it would likely have a different meaning in that context, possibly something like "The ideal liberal candidate to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election yet at the same time appeal to every possible Democratic voting block"
    – Andrew
    Apr 26, 2019 at 14:20
  • I'm curious who uses what you give here "If you want to suggest that person is your perfect romantic partner, say: He/she is my unicorn." I'm wondering what group of people say it, as I've never heard it.
    – jonathanjo
    Apr 26, 2019 at 14:34
  • @jonathanjo This guy, for one: "Who is your unicorn?". This was the third or fourth result from a Google search for "He is my unicorn". There's also the stuff in Urban dictionary. I get this may be more an American than a British expression, but it seems a pretty straightforward metaphor that any English speaker should understand, in the right context.
    – Andrew
    Apr 26, 2019 at 20:15
  • thanks: To be clear, I'm not suggesting people don't say it, I'm trying to learn who says it so I can edit my answer correctly. I've asked a few other UK speakers today about it, only the younger ones knew it and felt it sounded US. As metaphor I wouldn't know except from context whether it meant "unattainable" or "incredibly rare" or (as your interesting linked article defines it) "unique".
    – jonathanjo
    Apr 27, 2019 at 12:03

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