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lotus

[loh-tuh s]
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noun, plural lo·tus·es.
  1. a plant believed to be a jujube or elm, referred to in Greek legend as yielding a fruit that induced a state of dreamy and contented forgetfulness in those who ate it.
  2. the fruit itself.
  3. any aquatic plant of the genus Nelumbo, of the water lily family, having shieldlike leaves and showy, solitary flowers usually projecting above the water.
  4. any of several water lilies of the genus Nymphaea.
  5. a decorative motif derived from such a plant and used widely in ancient art, as on the capitals of Egyptian columns.
  6. any shrubby plant of the genus Lotus, of the legume family, having red, pink, yellow, or white flowers.
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Origin of lotus

1530–40; < Latin lōtus, lōtos < Greek lōtós the lotus plant, perhaps of Semitic origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lotus

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • No; it has two stacks; and it's not your people because the Lotus is black.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The lotus is a leguminous plant—so excellent for the salad—not for the roast.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • From that time on he met Rose of Evening every day in the lotus field.

  • The square piers also have frequently a lotus bud carved on them.

    Architecture

    Thomas Roger Smith

  • The moon wooed the lotus in the night, the lotus was wooed by the moon, and my sweetheart is their child.


British Dictionary definitions for lotus

lotus

noun
  1. (in Greek mythology) a fruit that induces forgetfulness and a dreamy languor in those who eat it
  2. the plant bearing this fruit, thought to be the jujube, the date, or any of various other plants
  3. any of several water lilies of tropical Africa and Asia, esp the white lotus (Nymphaea lotus), which was regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt
  4. a similar plant, Nelumbo nucifera, which is the sacred lotus of India, China, and Tibet and also sacred in Egypt: family Nelumbonaceae
  5. a representation of such a plant, common in Hindu, Buddhist, and ancient Egyptian carving and decorative art
  6. any leguminous plant of the genus Lotus, of the Old World and North America, having yellow, pink, or white pealike flowers
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Also called (rare): lotos

Word Origin

C16: via Latin from Greek lōtos, from Semitic; related to Hebrew lōt myrrh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lotus

n.

1540s, from Latin lotus, from Greek lotos, name used for several plants before it came to mean Egyptian white lotus (a sense attested in English from 1580s); perhaps from a Semitic source (cf. Hebrew lot "myrrh"). The yogic sense is attested from 1848. Lotus-eaters (1812) are from Greek lotophagoi, mentioned in "Odyssey," book IX.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper