Definition of spinifex in English:



  • A grass with coarse spiny leaves and spiny flower heads which break off and are blown about like tumbleweed, occurring from East Asia to Australia.

    Genus Spinifex, family Gramineae

    • ‘Here he had pulled a spinifex tussock to the cave entrance, and sung a powerful magic song.’
    • ‘Already we're rolling through ‘one bandicoot per acre’ country beyond Port Augusta - just spinifex, saltbush, sand, camel tracks.’
    • ‘Alex had stood on the rocks above him, and could see the blood trickling out from beneath the spinifex tussocks.’
    • ‘You can always walk around the spinifex and mulga down there.’
    • ‘The natives used to live on acacia flower and spinifex flower and all these other things in the past, and they didn't have the health problems that they've got today, diabetes being one.’
    • ‘It also promotes an appreciation of the spinifex and desert oak landscape that surrounds Uluru.’
    • ‘I kicked the spinifex growing through the bitumen and gazed mournfully at the old projectors.’
    • ‘Whilst beautiful it can also be an uncomfortable place: the spinifex scratches, it's usually hot, there are insects and creepy crawlies and it is all so vast.’
    • ‘This creates ideal conditions for grasses, spinifex and other vegetation to grow, providing fuel for big bushfires.’
    • ‘Every bit of spinifex should have been burned before last Christmas.’
    • ‘No people, no houses, no cars, just a wilderness of river-gum trees lining ancient waterless riverbeds, acacias, spinifex grasses and spooky giant termite mounds.’
    • ‘The ground surface is a crumbly screed dotted with spinifex and occasional leopardwood and lancewood trees.’
    • ‘The country is gripped by drought, the spinifex looks ready to burn and maximum day temperatures are already in the mid-30s.’
    • ‘Back in Melbourne, far from the spinifex and pindan, I look over my poem.’
    • ‘You can forget about the spinifex country and most of the mulga country.’
    • ‘It's traditionally formed of spinifex chipped out of the earth and made into a low wall, perhaps 18 inches high to protect you when you're lying down from the wind.’
    • ‘Its 6000 strong population in the 1960s on the gibber and spinifex plain also enjoyed more than 3000 hours of sunshine a year.’
    • ‘The tarmac scorched a black trail through an interminably flat landscape of spinifex bush.’
    • ‘Chasing a fast moving target in bare feet amongst spinifex grass is probably as good a training exercise for football as a coach has ever invented.’
    • ‘The Pilbara is gentle and serene in a good Wet, with spinifex waving like wheat on the flats and the heady smell of fresh country.’


Early 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin spina ‘thorn’ + -fex from facere ‘make’.