nopal

noun
no·​pal | \ nō-ˈpäl How to pronounce nopal (audio) , -ˈpal; ˈnō-pəl How to pronounce nopal (audio) \
plural nopals or nopales\ nō-​ˈpä-​lās How to pronounce nopales (audio) , -​ˈpa-​ \

Definition of nopal

1 : any of a genus (Nopalea) of cacti of Mexico and Central America that differ from the prickly pears in having erect petals and scarlet flowers with the stamens much longer than the petals broadly : prickly pear
2 : a fleshy young tender stem segment of the prickly pear cactus (especially Opuntia ficus-indica) or the nopal cactus used as food

Examples of nopal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nopales soaked in unaged whiskey form the base for a lime cocktail that’s simultaneously light from the lime and nopal, and substantial from the whiskey. Dakota Kim, Sunset, "How to Mix the Bounty of Nature into the Wildest Cocktails Ever," 22 Jan. 2018

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

First Known Use of nopal

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nopal

Spanish, from Nahuatl nohpalli

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nopal

Time Traveler for nopal

Time Traveler

The first known use of nopal was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nopal

Cite this Entry

“Nopal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nopal. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on nopal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nopal

Spanish Central: Translation of nopal

Comments on nopal

What made you want to look up nopal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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