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sensitive plant

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noun
  1. Also called humble plant. a tropical American plant, Mimosa pudica, cultivated in greenhouses, having bipinnate leaves whose leaflets fold together when touched.
  2. any of various other plants that are sensitive to touch.
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Origin of sensitive plant

First recorded in 1650–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sensitive plant

Historical Examples

  • The Sensitive-plant (Mimosa pudica) is a familiar example of this genus.

    Botany for Ladies

    Jane Loudon

  • Directly any one touches you, you shrivel up like a sensitive-plant.

    The Duel

    A. I. Kuprin

  • The sensitive-plant shivers and droops its leaves at the slightest touch.

    Urania

    Camille Flammarion

  • In short, when you pressed this sensitive-plant, it always contracted its dimensions.

  • Mimosas will presently make a sensitive-plant of him who hangs his hammock beneath their shade.


British Dictionary definitions for sensitive plant

sensitive plant

noun
  1. a tropical American mimosa plant, Mimosa pudica, the leaflets and stems of which fold if touched
  2. any similar plant, such as the leguminous plant Cassia nictitans of E North America
  3. informal a person who is easily upset
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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