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spinifex

[ spahy-nuh-feks ]
/ ˈspaɪ nəˌfɛks /
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noun, plural spi·ni·fex, spi·ni·fex·es.

any of several Australian grasses of the genera Spinifex, Plectrachne, or Triodia, having spiny seeds and stiff, sharp-pointed leaves that grow in dense masses.

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Origin of spinifex

First recorded in 1845–55; from New Latin spīnifex, literally “spine maker,” equivalent to Latin spīn(a) “thorn, spine, backbone” + -i- + -fex
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for spinifex

spinifex
/ (ˈspɪnɪˌfɛks) /

noun

Also called: porcupine grass Australian any of various coarse spiny-leaved inland grasses of the genus Triodia
any grass of the SE Asian genus Spinifex, having pointed leaves and spiny seed heads: often planted to bind loose sand

Word Origin for spinifex

C19: from New Latin, from Latin spīna a thorn + -fex maker, from facere to make
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
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