[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.
Origin of nopal
1720–30; < Mexican Spanish < Nahuatl nohpalli
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for nopal
A species, of cactus—the nopal—produces the tuna or Indian fig.The Western World
Within a short distance of the hut there were some nopal cactus-plants.Adventures of a Young Naturalist
Land of the nopal and maguey—home of Moctezuma and Malinché!The War Trail
The deep reds of the Nopal Coccus have furnished the purple of kings.The Insect
"We must hurry to get in the jacal before father," said Nopal, suddenly.History of California
Helen Elliott Bandini
- 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
C18: from Spanish, from Nahuatl nopálli cactus
Word Origin and History for nopal
Mexican cactus, from American Spanish, from Nahuatl nopalli.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper