Definition of cactus in English:

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cactus

Pronunciation: /ˈkaktəs/

noun (plural cacti /-tī/ /-tē/ or cactuses)

A succulent plant with a thick, fleshy stem that typically bears spines, lacks leaves, and has brilliantly colored flowers. Cacti are native to arid regions of the New World and are cultivated elsewhere, especially as houseplants.
  • Family Cactaceae: numerous genera and species.
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.

Derivatives

cactaceous

Pronunciation: /kakˈtāSHəs/
adjective
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.

Origin

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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cac·tus

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