lo·​tus | \ˈlō-təs \
plural lotuses also lotus

Definition of lotus 

1 or less commonly lotos \ ˈlō-​təs \ : 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

b : sweet clover

Illustration of lotus

Illustration of lotus

lotus 2

Examples of lotus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Its colorful bloom is an obvious suspect, but the lotus also has a life cycle unlike any other. Katie Robinson, Town & Country, "The Secret Meaning of the Lotus Flower," 28 Apr. 2017 This is paired with an extract from blue lily (also known as blue lotus) which purportedly helps skin look plumper and more moisturized. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Here’s Another Moisturizer That Will Keep You Hydrated for 3 Days Straight," 5 Feb. 2018 IGK’s Hot Girls shampoo smells so good — a tropical blend of coconut water, vanilla, pink lotus, and guava. Jessica Prince Erlich, The Cut, "I Found the Most Moisturizing Shampoo," 2 Feb. 2018 On the southern end of the pedestal is an Egyptian lotus, while the northern end features an American water lily. Colin Dickey, Longreads, "American Sphinx," 31 Aug. 2017 In Tokyo, Japan, where the pink lotus make a famous and showy display in a pond in a city park, residents claim that the flowers open with an audible pop. Ben Raines | Braines@al.com, AL.com, "Stranded in the Delta with nothing but time and a camera," 30 Aug. 2017 The show has lanterns and lasers, giant floating lotuses that sprout fountains, shamans and animal spirit forms, scenes projected onto water screens, all choreographed to an original musical score. Marjie Lambert, miamiherald, "Astride a banshee in new world of Avatar," 16 June 2017

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

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

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English Language Learners Definition of lotus

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


lo·​tus | \ˈlō-təs \

Kids Definition of lotus

: any of various water lilies

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Comments on lotus

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a private place of worship

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