cactus

noun
cac·​tus | \ ˈkak-təs How to pronounce cactus (audio) \
plural cacti\ ˈkak-​ˌtī How to pronounce cacti (audio) , -​(ˌ)tē \ or cactuses also cactus

Definition of cactus

: any of a family (Cactaceae, the cactus family) of plants that have succulent stems and branches with scales or spines instead of leaves and are found especially in dry areas (such as deserts)

Examples of cactus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Today the cactuses have been replaced by construction cranes in what is now a bustling area known as Kierland. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "Scottsdale Grows ‘Up’," 11 Apr. 2019 One of them has an Asian theme, with extraordinary bonsai, while another is planted with the cactuses and spiny plants of the American Southwestern desert. New York Times, "Francine Prose on Montreal in the Spring: The Time of the Butterflies," 11 June 2018 On my fantasy Christmas list is: a Cartier cactus ring. Marshall Heyman, WSJ, "Sofia Coppola’s Insider Tips for Style and Celebration," 26 Dec. 2018 Israelis often identify themselves with the sabra, the cactus fruit that has a prickly exterior and a soft interior and pride themselves on their frankness and shameless audacity. Ruth Eglash, The Seattle Times, "Monica Lewinsky walks off the stage at a Jerusalem conference when asked about Bill Clinton," 4 Sep. 2018 Prickly pear cactus spines are actually very efficient compared to other cacti for puncturing (shown in a recent study). David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The United States' Oldest Tattoo Needle Is an Inked-Up Cactus Spine," 28 Feb. 2019 Think Pink Prize To every product advertised on the New York City subway, from mattresses to handbags to Hims, on a pink background with blue sans-serif type and hints of cactus green. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "2018 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the urbanism," 27 Dec. 2018 The combatants include a gunslinger with big sideburns, a sentient cactus, and a girl in a bear suit. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Supercell’s new game mixes Fortnite and Clash Royale, and it’s out soon," 14 Nov. 2018 Thousands of cactuses and succulents on sale, including rare, colorful and sculptural varieties. Jeanette Marantos, latimes.com, "It's spring gardening season: 12 plant sales to get you digging," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cactus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cactus

1738, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cactus

New Latin, genus name, from Latin, cardoon, from Greek kaktos

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Statistics for cactus

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for cactus

The first known use of cactus was in 1738

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More Definitions for cactus

cactus

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cactus

: a plant that lives in the desert and that has many sharp points (called spines)

cactus

noun
cac·​tus | \ ˈkak-təs How to pronounce cactus (audio) \
plural cacti\ -​ˌtī , -​tē \ or cactuses

Kids Definition of cactus

: any of a large group of flowering plants of dry regions that have thick juicy stems and branches with scales or spines

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More from Merriam-Webster on cactus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cactus

Spanish Central: Translation of cactus

Nglish: Translation of cactus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cactus

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