acanthus

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noun acan·thus \ə-ˈkan(t)-thəs\

Definition of acanthus

plural

acanthus

  1. 1 :  any of a genus (Acanthus of the family Acanthaceae, the acanthus family) of prickly perennial herbs chiefly of the Mediterranean region

  2. 2 :  an ornamentation (as in a Corinthian capital) representing or suggesting the leaves of the acanthus

Illustration of acanthus

Origin and Etymology of acanthus

borrowed from Latin, borrowed from Greek ákanthos, a plant of the genus Acanthus (as A. mollis or A. spinosus), masculine derivative of ákanthă “thorn, prickle, thorny plant, spine (of a fish), backbone,” probably of pre-Greek substratal origin


First Known Use: 1551


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