• synonyms


noun, plural spi·ni·fex, spi·ni·fex·es.
  1. 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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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spinifex

Historical Examples

  • To the North, South, and East nothing but spinifex sand-hills in sight.

    Explorations in Australia

    John Forrest

  • We turned east for ten miles to a range, which we found to be covered with spinifex.

  • The flats are very grassy, but the hills are covered with spinifex.

  • The view was very extensive but not promising--spinifex being in every direction.

  • Spinifex in every direction, and the country very miserable and unpromising.

British Dictionary definitions for spinifex


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

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