- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for prickly pear
Mexican culture was no more Egyptian culture than a prickly-pear is a lotus.The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2)
Next came a hedge of prickly-pear; she turned her head away from this in disgust.Poppy
It was a flat region with a poor growth of mesquite and prickly-pear cactus.The Lone Star Ranger
I told my comrades I would wait for them among the prickly-pear plants until the moon should be full.Original Narratives of Early American History
Vaca and Others
A man who could run barefooted in the snow through a prickly-pear patch was surely a "tough one."An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W. F. Cody)
Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody)
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