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cactus

[kak-tuh s] /ˈkæk təs/
noun, plural cacti
[kak-tahy] /ˈkæk taɪ/ (Show IPA),
cactuses, cactus.
1.
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
1600-1610
1600-10; < Latin < Greek káktos cardoon
Related forms
cactuslike, cactoid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cactus
  • On this remote, cactus-strewn shoreline, the sea is a dazzling shade of green.
  • Magnificent, spherical cactus covered with bright yellow curved spines.
  • Foam, plastic cups, or cardboard boxes will also protect the tender tips of columnar cactus if you're not a knitter.
  • We planted pink and coral decorative dahlias and a red-and-yellow, cactus-flowered variety.
  • For height, she brought in mature cactus and tree aloes.
  • cactus wrens call and mourning doves flutter in and out of the skirts.
  • Or adding a touch of softness to a cactus and succulent garden.
  • Well my cactus don't look good with my lotus either.
  • Discover what else shares this ecosystem with saguaro cactus.
  • The barbs stick into you and you pull a segment of the cactus off.
British Dictionary definitions for cactus

cactus

/ˈkæktəs/
noun (pl) -tuses, -ti (-taɪ)
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
Derived Forms
cactaceous (kækˈteɪʃəs) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: prickly plant, from Greek kaktos cardoon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cactus
n.

c.1600, from Latin cactus "cardoon," from Greek 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
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