Definition of saguaro
: a tall columnar usually sparsely-branched cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) of dry areas of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico that bears white flowers and a scaly reddish edible fruit and that may attain a height of up to 50 feet (16 meters) —called also giant cactus
saguaro was our Word of the Day on 05/17/2011. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Venture into the Arizonan desert on a May or June morning and you may see the saguaro in bloom. For many of our readers (such as those living in Arizona and southeastern California), this sight - and the word saguaro - won't be anything new. Or perhaps you know this emblem of all things Southwestern simply as the "giant cactus." The word saguaro originated in Ópata, a language spoken by peoples of the Sonoran Desert region of Mexico. It came into English by way of the Spanish spoken by the Mexican settlers of the American West. The very saguaros we see today may well have been around when the word was first noted, some 150 years ago - this amazing cactus can live for up to 200 years.
Origin and Etymology of saguaro
Mexican Spanish, probably from Ópata (Uto-Aztecan language of Sonora, Mexico)
First Known Use: 1856See Words from the same year
SAGUARO Defined for Kids
Definition of saguaro for Students
: a giant cactus of the southwestern United States and Mexico
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up saguaro? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).