spa·​dix | \ ˈspā-diks How to pronounce spadix (audio) \
plural spadices\ ˈspā-​də-​ˌsēz How to pronounce spadices (audio) \

Definition of spadix

: a floral spike with a fleshy or succulent axis usually enclosed in a spathe

Illustration of spadix

Illustration of spadix

1 spadix

Examples of spadix in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The tall center part, called the spadix, actually heats up to help disperse its distinct odor. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "A “Stinky Corpse” Flower Has Arrived in Southern California and It’s Almost Ready to Bloom," 22 May 2019 Finally at peak bloom, the purple, velvety petal sheath opens up like an inverted umbrella to reveal the beige spadix at the center. Pam Kragen,, "Stinky 'corpse flower' set to bloom at botanic garden," 15 Sep. 2017 The upward-facing maroon spadix resembles a bony finger. Ciscoe Morris, The Seattle Times, "There’s a reason they call it a corpse flower," 31 May 2017 The yellowish-brown spadix can reach almost 6 feet tall. Ciscoe Morris, The Seattle Times, "There’s a reason they call it a corpse flower," 31 May 2017

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

circa 1752, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spadix

New Latin spadic-, spadix, from Latin, frond torn from a palm tree, from Greek spadik-, spadix, from span to draw, pull

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Dictionary Entries near spadix

spading fork

spading harrow






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Time Traveler for spadix

The first known use of spadix was circa 1752

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


a period when something is suspended

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