- any of numerous succulent plants of the family Cactaceae, of warm, arid regions of the New World, having fleshy, leafless, usually spiny stems, and typically having solitary, showy flowers.
Origin of cactus
Examples from the Web for cacti
The cacti arose higher, and you could say that they grew on the head of one another.Sielanka: An Idyll
Nopalry: a plantation of cacti for raising cochineal insects.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
Leaving the path to our left, we made our way among the cacti.Adventures of a Young Naturalist
All present knew the meaning of this, and regarded the cacti with a murmur of satisfaction.The Scalp Hunters
She fell, and cursed aloud as she felt the sting of cacti spines in her palm.The Lady Doc
- any spiny succulent plant of the family Cactaceae of the arid regions of America. Cactuses have swollen tough stems, leaves reduced to spines or scales, and often large brightly coloured flowers
- cactus dahlia a double-flowered variety of dahlia
Word Origin and History for cacti
c.1600, from Latin cactus "cardoon," from Greek kaktos, name of a type of prickly plant of Sicily (the Spanish artichoke), perhaps of pre-Hellenic origin. Modern meaning is 18c., because Linnaeus gave the name to a group of plants he thought were related to this but are not.