prickly pear


Definition of prickly pear

1 or prickly pear cactus : opuntia especially : an opuntia with flattened, usually paddle-shaped, jointed stem segments — compare cholla, nopal
2 or prickly pear fruit : the pulpy, pear- or egg-shaped, edible, yellow to purplish-red fruit of various prickly pears (such as Opuntia ficus-indica) — see tuna entry 2

Illustration of prickly pear

Illustration of prickly pear

prickly pear 1

Examples of prickly pear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The fruit of the opuntia (prickly pear cactus) tastes similar to kiwi or melon and is often made into an electric-pink syrup used in all sorts of drinks. Casey Barber, Better Homes & Gardens, "Road Trip Eats: Recipes Inspired By Route 66," 26 June 2020 Get 16 ounces of the house, skinny, prickly pear, blood orange margaritas to go ($8). Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Here are 22 restaurants and bars with to-go cocktails around metro Phoenix," 22 June 2020 Hack apart barrel cacti and prickly pear, then chew the pulp for moisture. Keith Mccafferty, Field & Stream, "The Ultimate Survival Guide to Finding and Purifying Water," 19 June 2020 Refreshing take-home versions of the gin-and-lime Vespa ($8) and tart prickly pear margarita ($9) filled the gap. Mike Sutter,, "3 San Antonio restaurants with outstanding takeout: Thai Dee, Cappy’s and Mixtli," 11 June 2020 After all, not too many people can say they were saved by a patch of prickly pear cacti while being shot at! oregonlive, "Why grow cactus plants in Oregon? Because we can," 5 June 2020 Images created by Reyes feature Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in a clinical mask, a prickly pear cactus warning others not to get too close, and saguaro cacti practicing 6feet of social distancing. USA TODAY, "Bar trouble, gym defiance, al fresco dining: News from around our 50 states," 19 May 2020 Options rotate but include honey, lavender, prickly pear and strawberry margarita. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "You can get takeout margaritas at these restaurants in metro Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale," 28 Apr. 2020 Sip on a zingy pineapple-ginger-lime or puckery prickly pear-strawberry agua fresca ($12 makes 4). Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Mother's Day: Here are 31 restaurants for takeout brunch and dinner in metro Phoenix," 5 May 2020

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

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for prickly pear

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The first known use of prickly pear was in 1696

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prickly pear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for prickly pear

prickly pear


English Language Learners Definition of prickly pear

: a cactus that has yellow flowers and fruits shaped like pears also : the fruit of this plant

prickly pear


Kids Definition of prickly pear

: a cactus with flat branching spiny stems and a sweet fruit shaped like a pear

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More from Merriam-Webster on prickly pear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prickly pear

Spanish Central: Translation of prickly pear

Nglish: Translation of prickly pear for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about prickly pear

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