Definition of opuntia in English:

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Pronunciation: /ōˈpənSH(ē)ə/


A cactus of a genus that comprises the prickly pears.
  • Genus Opuntia, family Cactaceae.
Example sentences
  • In contrast to cultivated opuntias, wild opuntias generally do not develop young cladodes when extreme drought conditions prevail; this has been considered an avoidance strategy to prevent water loss.


Early 17th century: from Latin, a name given to a plant growing around Opus (stem Opunt-), a city in Locris in ancient Greece. The term was later used as a genus name.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·pun·tia

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