One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sea anemone; specifically one of the genus Actinia. Also (in form Actinia): the genus itself.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in John Hill (bap. 1714, d. 1775), physician and actor. From scientific Latin Actinia from ancient Greek ἀκτῖν-, ἀκτίς ray + scientific Latin -ia.
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