Definition of nopal in English:

nopal

Line breaks: nopal
Pronunciation: /ˈnəʊp(ə)l
 
, ˈnəʊpal/

noun

1A cactus which is a major food plant of the bugs from which cochineal is obtained.
  • Genus Nopalea, family Cactaceae: several species, in particular N. cochinellifera
More example sentences
  • The Aztecs cultivated cochineal, a tiny insect that lived on the native nopal cactus and produced a red dye that was the brightest and strongest color Europe had ever seen.
  • Cochineal - a red dye made from insects harvested from the nopal cactus - was the most lucrative export item after silver that Spain extracted from Mexico during the colonial period.
1.1 (nopales /nəʊˈpɑːlɛz/) The edible fleshy pads of the nopal cactus, used in Mexican cuisine.
More example sentences
  • The plant produces flat, round pads (sometimes called nopales or nopalitos), which in some locales are sold in grocery stores for consumption.
  • Canned nopales (plain, or in brine or a vinegar pickle) are available.
  • There are stacks of mangoes and piles of nopales, baskets of dried chiles and vats of mole paste.

Origin

mid 18th century: via French and Spanish from Nahuatl nopalli 'cactus'.

More definitions of nopal

Definition of nopal in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day wiseacre
Pronunciation: ˈwʌɪzeɪkə
noun
a know-all…