lo·​tus | \ ˈlō-təs How to pronounce lotus (audio) \
plural lotuses also lotus

Definition of lotus

1 or less commonly lotos \ ˈlō-​təs How to pronounce lotus (audio) \ : a fruit eaten by the lotus-eaters and considered to cause indolence and dreamy contentment also : a tree (such as Zizyphus lotus of the buckthorn family) reputed to bear this fruit
2 : any of various water lilies including several represented in ancient Egyptian and Hindu art and religious symbolism
3 [New Latin, from Latin]
a : any of a genus (Lotus) of widely distributed upright herbs or subshrubs of the legume family

Illustration of lotus

Illustration of lotus

lotus 2

Examples of lotus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tropical Asia and Queensland, Australia Similar to water lilies, lotuses have wide, flat leaves that emerge just above the surface of shallow bodies of freshwater. Kat Craddock, Saveur, "10 Flavor-Packed Leaves From Around the World to Bring Into Your Kitchen," 25 May 2017 In the summer, lotuses bloom across the lakes, making my city extremely Instagrammable. Yuli Yang, CNN, "Opinion: A love letter to Wuhan, from a heartbroken local watching from abroad," 5 Feb. 2020 He was talked about and still is by older-timers in, to use a Bernheimerism, the land of the plastic lotus. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: With withering wit, The Times’ irrepressible Martin Bernheimer transformed criticism," 1 Oct. 2019 In lotuses the air pockets are created by minute lumps of wax. The Economist, "How to make a better raincoat with tiny “water bowls”," 4 July 2019 At the very end of my tour of the world’s largest cannabis dispensary, CEO Bob Groesbeck takes me outside to see the lotuses. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Weed and luxury in Las Vegas," 15 Nov. 2018 Not surprisingly, images of young boys and symbols of fertility—including lotuses, pomegranates and other seed-laden fruits—decorated many of the objects the consorts used. Susan Delson, WSJ, "At Museums, a Vanished Chinese Realm of Female Power," 20 July 2018 For Buddhist practitioners, a white lotus symbolizes purity, whereas a yellow lotus is associated with spiritual ascension. Katie Robinson, Town & Country, "The Secret Meaning of the Lotus Flower," 28 Apr. 2017 Beyond is an archway of lotuses, peonies and clouds. Liesl Bradner, latimes.com, "The murals of Tibet, with an assist from the Dalai Lama," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lotus.' 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 lotus

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for lotus

Latin & Greek; Latin lotus, from Greek lōtos

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Time Traveler for lotus

Time Traveler

The first known use of lotus was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Lotus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lotus. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for lotus


How to pronounce lotus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lotus

: a type of flowering plant that grows on the surface of water


lo·​tus | \ ˈlō-təs How to pronounce lotus (audio) \

Kids Definition of lotus

: any of various water lilies

More from Merriam-Webster on lotus

Nglish: Translation of lotus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lotus

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