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prickly pear

any of numerous cacti of the genus Opuntia, having flattened, usually spiny stem joints, yellow, orange, or reddish flowers, and ovoid, often edible fruit.
the usually prickly fruit of such a cactus.
Origin of prickly pear
First recorded in 1605-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prickly pear
Historical Examples
  • It had no gate but a gap in the fence, and no fence but a hedge of the prickly pear and the aloe.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • This and the prickly pear suggest the climate of the tropics.

  • Charcoal and the leaves of the prickly pear are also used for the same purpose.

    The Prairie Traveler Randolph Marcy
  • The soles of his feet were filled with the thorns of the prickly pear.

    Daniel Boone John S. C. Abbott
  • Oh, I know it now; it is what they call the prickly pear in the West Indies.

    Masterman Ready Captain Frederick Marryat
  • "There's a fine patch of prickly pear handy," suggested Sam.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • Leggings and moccasins had been sliced to pieces by the prickly pear.

    The Conquest

    Eva Emery Dye
  • The bark resembles that of the prickly pear; and the body is covered with thorns.

  • By the side of this cross there grew a cactus, or prickly pear.

    Picturesque Pala

    George Wharton James
  • But even at its finest the prickly pear is hardly a thing to pine for.

    The Fortunate Isles

    Mary Stuart Boyd
British Dictionary definitions for prickly pear

prickly pear

any of various tropical cacti of the genus Opuntia, having flattened or cylindrical spiny joints and oval fruit that is edible in some species See also cholla, nopal (sense 2)
the fruit of any of these plants
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
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