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 farm to face formula is infused with peach flower extract for a dose of antioxidants, as well as Coola’s Plant Protection complex with buriti oil and prickly pear extract to nourish and fight free radicals, respectively. Celia Shatzman, Forbes, 11 May 2021 La Margarita Mod Mexican Kitchen and Rita Lounge will have its usual Tex-Mex classics and craft margaritas, like strawberry jalapeño, hibiscus and prickly pear. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, 5 May 2021 Précieux face oil, which includes prickly pear, marula and baobab, as well as bakuchiol, white lupin and coenzyme Q10 for firming and soothing. New York Times, 10 May 2021 Two are types of prickly pear, which are relatively common. Star Tribune, 2 May 2021 Vegetation emerges from windows and through the roofs of the ruined houses, and doorsteps are covered in moss and prickly pear branches. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 25 Apr. 2021 Hints of açai, prickly pear, and berries float up with each sip. Hudson Lindenberger, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2021 One of my initial skin care concerns was dull skin, but this oil keeps that at bay by using the antioxidant and omega properties in superberries like acai, maqui, prickly pear and goji. Rebecca Rodriguez, NBC News, 14 Apr. 2021 In Mexico, unlike in Australia, the prickly pear is a vital plant. Longreads, 23 Mar. 2021

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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Statistics for prickly pear

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prickly pear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on prickly pear

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


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