Definition of lotus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈləʊtəs/


Image of lotus
1Either of two large water lilies:
  • (also sacred lotus) A red-flowered Asian lily (Nelumbo nucifera, family Nelumbonaceae). (also Egyptian lotus) A lily regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt (the white-flowered Nymphaea lotus and the blue-flowered N. caerulea, family Nymphaeaceae).
Example sentences
  • Wild rice could have been found in the deeper waters of the backwater sloughs along with white water lily, American lotus, arrowleaf, duckweeds, and pondweed.
  • If your pond is at least three feet deep, you can experiment with wild rice, water lotus, and water lily.
  • All water lilies and lotuses studied have aerenchyma.
2 Greek Mythology A plant whose fruit induced a dreamy forgetfulness and an unwillingness to leave.
Example sentences
  • The music is inspired by the Ancient Greek myth of island dwellers whose diet of fruit from the lotus tree makes them forget their past troubles.
  • The starving men ate the fruit, but Ulysses quickly understood that the lotus fruit destroyed men's memories.
3The flower of the sacred lotus as a symbol in Asian art and religion: a myth of creation states that Buddha was born of a thousand-petalled gold lotus
More example sentences
  • The Asian sacred lotus represents the highest branch on the botanical family tree that shows heat generation.
  • In one popular depiction, he sits on a lotus flower between the Hindu gods Brahm and Indra and creates a vast number of lotuses all with himself seated in their centers.
  • Two Swords are crossed in inner and outer conflict today but the flowering lotus, a symbol of love, in the middle of the two swords brings peace and compromise.


Late 15th century (denoting a type of clover or trefoil, described by Homer as food for horses): via Latin from Greek lōtos, of Semitic origin. The term was used by classical writers to denote various trees and plants; the legendary plant (sense 2), mentioned by Homer, was thought by later Greek writers to be Ziziphus lotus, a relative of the jujube.

Words that rhyme with lotus

Duns Scotus

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: lotus

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