noun, plural lotuses.
a plant believed to be a jujube or elm, referred to in Greek legend as yielding a fruit that induced a state of dreamy and contented forgetfulness in those who ate it.
the fruit itself.
any aquatic plant of the genus Nelumbo, of the water lily family, having shieldlike leaves and showy, solitary flowers usually projecting above the water.
any of several water lilies of the genus Nymphaea.
a decorative motif derived from such a plant and used widely in ancient art, as on the capitals of Egyptian columns.
any shrubby plant of the genus Lotus, of the legume family, having red, pink, yellow, or white flowers.

1530–40; < Latin lōtus, lōtos < Greek lōtós the lotus plant, perh of Semitic orig.

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World English Dictionary
lotus (ˈləʊtəs)
1.  (in Greek mythology) a fruit that induces forgetfulness and a dreamy languor in those who eat it
2.  the plant bearing this fruit, thought to be the jujube, the date, or any of various other plants
3.  any of several water lilies of tropical Africa and Asia, esp the white lotus (Nymphaea lotus), which was regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt
4.  a similar plant, Nelumbo nucifera, which is the sacred lotus of India, China, and Tibet and also sacred in Egypt: family Nelumbonaceae
5.  a representation of such a plant, common in Hindu, Buddhist, and ancient Egyptian carving and decorative art
6.  any leguminous plant of the genus Lotus, of the Old World and North America, having yellow, pink, or white pealike flowers
[C16: via Latin from Greek lōtos, from Semitic; related to Hebrew lōt myrrh]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1540, from L. lotus, from Gk. lotos, name used for several plants before it came to mean Egyptian white lotus (a sense attested in Eng. from 1584); perhaps from a Sem. source (cf. Heb. lot "myrrh"). The yogic sense is attested from 1848. Lotus-eaters (1832) are from Gk. lotophagoi, mentioned in "Odyssey,"
book IX.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Wearing rotting lotus behind our ears, musk between our thighs.
Well my cactus don't look good with my lotus either.
There are papyrus leaves also, and mixed in with the lotus and those represent
  knowledge and rebirth.
Revelers eat traditional moon cakes filled with lotus seed and salted egg yolk,
  or one of many newer varieties.
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