• synonyms
British Dictionary definitions for opuntia


  1. any cactus of the genus Opuntia, esp prickly pear, having fleshy branched stems and green, red, or yellow flowers
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Word Origin

C17: New Latin, from Latin Opuntia (herba) the Opuntian (plant), from Opus, ancient town of Locris, Greece
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

Examples from the Web for opuntia

Historical Examples

  • You know that Henslow has described a new Opuntia from the Galapagos.

    More Letters of Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin

  • The fruit of the Opuntia cactus, of which there are about two hundred species.

  • Cholla (Opuntia fulgida) ranges from Nevada southward into Mexico.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

  • A closely-related species is known as tassajo (Opuntia sponsior).

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

  • Grafted on to a Cereus or Opuntia it is healthier than when on its own roots.