< /ˈkæk taɪ/, cac·tus·es, cac·tus.
- any of numerous succulent plants of the family Cactaceae, of warm, arid regions of the New World, having fleshy, leafless, usually spiny stems, and typically having solitary, showy flowers.
noun plural -tuses or -ti (-taɪ)
- any spiny succulent plant of the family Cactaceae of the arid regions of America. Cactuses have swollen tough stems, leaves reduced to spines or scales, and often large brightly coloured flowers
- cactus dahlia a double-flowered variety of dahlia
c.1600, from Latin cactus “cardoon,” from Greek kaktos, name of a type of prickly plant of Sicily (the Spanish artichoke), perhaps of pre-Hellenic origin. Modern meaning is 18c., because Linnaeus gave the name to a group of plants he thought were related to this but are not.