Definition of cactus in US English:

cactus

nounPlural cacti, Plural cactuses

  • A succulent plant with a thick, fleshy stem that typically bears spines, lacks leaves, and has brilliantly colored flowers. Cacti are native to arid regions of the New World and are cultivated elsewhere, especially as houseplants.

    Family Cactaceae: numerous genera and species

    • ‘It has been isolated from soils in desert areas, grassland or cultivated soils, cacti, onion, and garlic bulbs.’
    • ‘It has several gnarled trees, cactuses, oleanders, a crazy arrangement of pot plants, various graveside paraphernalia such as urns and framed photographs, and a rickety set of narrow pathways.’
    • ‘It looked somehow like the surface of a cactus, the peyote cactus.’
    • ‘Remember, for starters, that all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.’
    • ‘Scaling and barking injuries occur on stem surfaces of saguaro cacti.’
    • ‘Aloe vera resembles a cactus, but is actually a perennial succulent which belongs to the lily family.’
    • ‘It searches among the yucca cactuses and Joshua trees for a lonely radar station atop a mountain peak.’
    • ‘However, thorns on cactuses are a different thing.’
    • ‘The boyfriend bought a big cactus yesterday to add in with the banana plants etc.’
    • ‘The man-made structures are concealed by imaginative landscaping that includes coconut palms, hibiscus, cactuses, hammocks, bougainvillea, gardens and lawns opening to beach and sea.’
    • ‘We are rich with saguaros, prickly pear, and cholla cacti, and paloverde, and mesquite trees.’
    • ‘Orchid, African violet and cactus are just a few of the special mixes available.’
    • ‘Tall palm trees and thick forests of cactuses give travellers the impression that they are staying in a tropical region.’
    • ‘Prickly pear cacti and large agave succulents, introduced from Mexico, grow everywhere in the north of the island.’
    • ‘Like the cactuses it resembles, an aloe plant requires little care and grows quickly.’
    • ‘He finally got his cactus home, planted it in his backyard, and over time it grew to about two metres.’
    • ‘Good weather is also an essential pre-requisite for the growth of cacti and succulent plants.’
    • ‘They resembled a cross between a cactus and an aloe vera plant; thick and fleshy, with hairs extruding from their tendrils.’
    • ‘Second, the cactus and acacia trees may have dissimilar distributions of branch length.’
    • ‘The northeast is much more barren - there are more cactuses than palm trees in this semidesert.’

Origin

Early 17th century (in the sense ‘cardoon’): from Latin, from Greek kaktos ‘cardoon’.

Pronunciation

cactus

/ˈkaktəs//ˈkæktəs/