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nopal

[noh-puh l, noh-pahl, -pal] /ˈnoʊ pəl, noʊˈpɑl, -ˈpæl/
noun
1.
any of several cacti of the genus Nopalea, resembling the prickly pear.
2.
the fruit of such a cactus, or of a similar cactus, as the prickly pear.
Origin of nopal
1720-1730
1720-30; < Mexican Spanish < Nahuatl nohpalli
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nopal
Historical Examples
  • It is brought to us from Mexico, where the animal lives upon the cactus opuntia or nopal.

  • Within a short distance of the hut there were some nopal cactus-plants.

  • Young women wearing the most recent thing in ash-coloured travelling suits were not so plentiful in nopal!

    Whirligigs O. Henry
  • The deep reds of the nopal Coccus have furnished the purple of kings.

    The Insect Jules Michelet
  • nopal, coming forward, stooped low and rolled a hoop along the ground, which the boys had pounded smooth and hard for the game.

    History of California Helen Elliott Bandini
  • "Hush, do not waken mother," said nopal, speaking very softly.

    History of California Helen Elliott Bandini
  • In the central part of the country they use a spear made of a thin reed and tipped with thorns of the nopal.

  • "We must get away now; Nihie will be back soon to get the offerings," said nopal.

    History of California Helen Elliott Bandini
  • Land of the nopal and maguey—home of Moctezuma and Malinché!

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • "We must hurry to get in the jacal before father," said nopal, suddenly.

    History of California Helen Elliott Bandini
British Dictionary definitions for nopal

nopal

/ˈnəʊpəl/
noun
1.
any of various cactuses of the genus Nopalea, esp the red-flowered N. cochinellifera, which is a host plant of the cochineal insect
2.
a cactus, Opuntia lindheimeri, having yellow flowers and purple fruits See also prickly pear
Word Origin
C18: from Spanish, from Nahuatl nopálli cactus
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 nopal
n.

Mexican cactus, from American Spanish, from Nahuatl nopalli.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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