noun, plural cereuses.
any of various plants of the genus Cereus, of the cactus family, having large, usually white, funnel-shaped flowers.
any of several related, similar plants, especially of the genera Hylocereus, Nyctocereus, and Selenicereus.

1720–30; < Neo-Latin, Latin cēreus wax candle, noun use of cēreus cereous

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cereus (ˈsɪərɪəs)
1.  any tropical American cactus of the genus Cereus, esp C. jamacaru of N Brazil, which grows to a height of 13 metres (40 feet)
2.  any of several similar and related cacti, such as the night-blooming cereus
[C18: from New Latin, from Latin cēreus a wax taper, from cēra wax]

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Word Origin & History

cactus genus, 1730, from L. cereus "waxy," from cera "wax."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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