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
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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
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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
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Example sentences
On this remote, cactus-strewn shoreline, the sea is a dazzling shade of green.
We planted pink and coral decorative dahlias and a red-and-yellow, cactus-flowered variety.
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.
Images for cactus
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