Definition of cactus in English:

cactus

Line breaks: cac¦tus
Pronunciation: /ˈkaktəs
 
/

noun (plural cacti /-tʌɪ/ or cactuses)

A succulent plant with a thick fleshy stem which typically bears spines, lacks leaves, and has brilliantly coloured flowers. Cacti are native to arid regions of the New World and are cultivated elsewhere, especially as pot plants.
  • Family Cactaceae: numerous genera and species
More example sentences
  • We are rich with saguaros, prickly pear, and cholla cacti, and paloverde, and mesquite trees.
  • Prickly pear cacti and large agave succulents, introduced from Mexico, grow everywhere in the north of the island.
  • Scaling and barking injuries occur on stem surfaces of saguaro cacti.

Origin

early 17th century (in the sense 'cardoon'): from Latin, from Greek kaktos 'cardoon'.

Derivatives

cactaceous

Pronunciation: /-ˈteɪʃəs/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Named in honor of the French scholar Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, the genus Pereskia boasts the unique characteristic of being one of the few cactaceous genera to bear true leaves.
  • The most common of these is E. canariensis with the classic cactaceous habit.
  • If you wish to camp, hike or simply to spend a day afield between encino forests and pine and cactaceous scrubs, you may see some deer, wild burro, pumas, cats, coyotes, bald eagles and a diverse selection of snakes.

Definition of cactus in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day inamorata
Pronunciation: ɪˌnaməˈrɑːtə
noun
a person's female lover