cactus

[kak-tuhs]
noun, plural cacti [kak-tahy] , cactuses, cactus.
any of numerous succulent plants of the family Cactaceae, of warm, arid regions of the New World, having fleshy, leafless, usually spiny stems, and typically having solitary, showy flowers.

Origin:
1600–10; < Latin < Greek káktos cardoon

cactuslike, cactoid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To cacti
Collins
World English Dictionary
cactus (ˈkæktəs)
 
n , pl -tuses, -ti
1.  any spiny succulent plant of the family Cactaceae of the arid regions of America. Cactuses have swollen tough stems, leaves reduced to spines or scales, and often large brightly coloured flowers
2.  cactus dahlia a double-flowered variety of dahlia
 
[C17: from Latin: prickly plant, from Greek kaktos cardoon]
 
cactaceous
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cactus
c.1600, from L. cactus "cardoon," from Gk. kaktos, name of a type of prickly plant of Sicily (the Spanish artichoke), perhaps of pre-Hellenic origin. Modern meaning is 18c., because Linnaeus gave the name to a group of plants he thought were related to this but are not.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Plants include orchids, lilies, coffee plants and cacti.
Other plants, such as cacti, have special means of storing and conserving water.
Check out the beautiful cacti, agave, and other desert plants and learn how
  they thrive in an extreme environment.
The timing was perfect to catch the effervescent glow that early sunrise
  creates and that these cacti are famous for.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature