- 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 cactus
It all sounds a bit dramatic, but that cactus feels like something special.Lost For Thousands of Strokes: 'Desert Golfing' Is 'Angry Birds' as Modern Art
January 2, 2015
Another choice is agave nectar, made from a type of cactus that grows in Mexico (yes, tequila fans, that cactus).How to Watch Out for Hidden Sugar and Replace With Leaner Substitutes
Diana Le Dean
February 23, 2013
“There is nothing but cattle, cactus, rocks, and steep canyons,” said Bisbee, Ariz., City Council member Ransom Burke.Was Shooting of Border Patrol Agents in Arizona an Ambush?
October 3, 2012
By early September the sea is warm and the mandarin oranges and cactus fruit have begun to replace the summer crowds.Into the Heart of Turkey
September 28, 2010
She's as pretty as a cactus flower, or a sunrise on the staked plains.Faro Nell and Her Friends
Alfred Henry Lewis
Every grain of sand, every cactus spine bore a tiny rainbow.The Forbidden Trail
They fled toward a patch of rocks and cactus in the direction of Devil's Chute.
It was your very strength that repelled me, like the spines of the cactus.
He made the most of the cactus, but there was an emptiness about the pit of his stomach.Oh, You Tex!
William Macleod Raine
- 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 cactus
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.