barrel cactus

noun

: any of a genus (Ferocactus) of nearly globular deeply ribbed spiny cacti of Mexico and the adjacent U.S.
also : any of several similar cacti (genus Echinocactus)

Illustration of barrel cactus

Illustration of barrel cactus

Examples of barrel cactus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hike through the Chihuahuan Desert and spot the Southwestern barrel cactus, ocotillo, yucca, and other plants. Amanda Ogle, Travel + Leisure, 25 Jan. 2024 Towering saguaro cactuses are collapsing from the heat, and the agaves, creosote bushes and stubby barrel cactuses that spangle highways are turning yellow. Jack Healy, New York Times, 31 July 2023 Towering saguaro cactuses are collapsing from the heat, and the agaves, creosote bushes, and stubby barrel cactuses that spangle highways are turning yellow. Jack Healy, BostonGlobe.com, 31 July 2023 For instant impact, plant durable barrel cactus. Sunset Magazine, 3 Aug. 2020 Among the plants that first dazzled her were the many varieties of aloes, agaves and barrel cactus. Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Jan. 2023 In addition to jumping cholla, the pair tested golden barrel cactus, brittle prickly pear and a few other common cactus species. Alison Klesman, Discover Magazine, 20 Nov. 2018 Rain-swollen barrel cactus are plump as baby walruses. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 26 Sep. 2022 Bright blue skies contrast with the earthy colors of sand, rock and plants such as saguaros, barrel cactus, brittlebush, chollas and paloverde trees. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 5 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'barrel cactus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barrel cactus was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near barrel cactus

Cite this Entry

“Barrel cactus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barrel%20cactus. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

barrel cactus

noun
: any of various spiny cacti that resemble a barrel in shape, have many ridges on the outside, and are found in Mexico and in nearby parts of the U.S.

More from Merriam-Webster on barrel cactus

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!