[noh-puh l, noh-pahl, -pal]


any of several cacti of the genus Nopalea, resembling the prickly pear.
the fruit of such a cactus, or of a similar cactus, as the prickly pear.

Nearby words

  1. nootka,
  2. nootka fir,
  3. nootka sound,
  4. nootropic,
  5. nop,
  6. nope,
  7. noplace,
  8. nopo,
  9. nor,
  10. nor circuit

Origin of nopal

1720–30; < Mexican Spanish < Nahuatl nohpalli Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nopal

British Dictionary definitions for nopal



any of various cactuses of the genus Nopalea, esp the red-flowered N. cochinellifera, which is a host plant of the cochineal insect
a cactus, Opuntia lindheimeri, having yellow flowers and purple fruitsSee also prickly pear

Word Origin for nopal

C18: from Spanish, from Nahuatl nopálli cactus

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 nopal



Mexican cactus, from American Spanish, from Nahuatl nopalli.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper