What does cactus mean?

Definitions for cactus
ˈkæk təscac·tus

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word cactus.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cactusnoun

    any succulent plant of the family Cactaceae native chiefly to arid regions of the New World and usually having spines

Wiktionary

  1. cactusnoun

    Any member of the family Cactaceae, a family of flowering New World succulent plants suited to a hot, semi-desert climate.

  2. cactusnoun

    Any succulent plant with a thick fleshy stem bearing spines but no leaves, including euphorbs.

  3. cactusadjective

    Non-functional, broken, exhausted.

  4. Etymology: cactus, from κάκτος.

Wikipedia

  1. Cactus

    A cactus (pl. cacti, cactuses, or less commonly, cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. The word cactus derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek word κάκτος (káktos), a name originally used by Theophrastus for a spiny plant whose identity is now not certain. Cacti occur in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Although some species live in quite humid environments, most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in extremely dry environments, even being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth. Because of this, cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. For example, almost all cacti are succulents, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. Unlike many other succulents, the stem is the only part of most cacti where this vital process takes place. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are highly modified leaves. As well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade. In the absence of true leaves, cacti's enlarged stems carry out photosynthesis. Cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which also grows in Africa and Sri Lanka. Cactus spines are produced from specialized structures called areoles, a kind of highly reduced branch. Areoles are an identifying feature of cacti. As well as spines, areoles give rise to flowers, which are usually tubular and multipetaled. Many cacti have short growing seasons and long dormancies and are able to react quickly to any rainfall, helped by an extensive but relatively shallow root system that quickly absorbs any water reaching the ground surface. Cactus stems are often ribbed or fluted, which allows them to expand and contract easily for quick water absorption after rain, followed by retention over long drought periods. Like other succulent plants, most cacti employ a special mechanism called "crassulacean acid metabolism" (CAM) as part of photosynthesis. Transpiration, during which carbon dioxide enters the plant and water escapes, does not take place during the day at the same time as photosynthesis, but instead occurs at night. The plant stores the carbon dioxide it takes in as malic acid, retaining it until daylight returns, and only then using it in photosynthesis. Because transpiration takes place during the cooler, more humid night hours, water loss is significantly reduced. Many smaller cacti have globe-shaped stems, combining the highest possible volume for water storage with the lowest possible surface area for water loss from transpiration. The tallest free-standing cactus is Pachycereus pringlei, with a maximum recorded height of 19.2 m (63 ft), and the smallest is Blossfeldia liliputiana, only about 1 cm (0.4 in) in diameter at maturity. A fully grown saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) is said to be able to absorb as much as 200 U.S. gallons (760 l; 170 imp gal) of water during a rainstorm. A few species differ significantly in appearance from most of the family. At least superficially, plants of the genera Leuenbergeria, Rhodocactus and Pereskia resemble other trees and shrubs growing around them. They have persistent leaves, and when older, bark-covered stems. Their areoles identify them as cacti, and in spite of their appearance, they, too, have many adaptations for water conservation. Leuenbergeria is considered close to the ancestral species from which all cacti evolved. In tropical regions, other cacti grow as forest climbers and epiphytes (plants that grow on trees). Their stems are typically flattened, almost leaf-like in appearance, with fewer or even no spines, such as the well-known Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus (in the genus Schlumbergera). Cacti have a variety of uses: many species are used as ornamental plants, others are grown for fodder or forage, and others for food (particularly their fruit). Cochineal is the product of an insect that lives on some cacti. Many succulent plants in both the Old and New World – such as some Euphorbiaceae (euphorbias) – are also spiny stem succulents and because of this are sometimes incorrectly referred to as "cactus".

ChatGPT

  1. cactus

    A cactus is a type of plant native to arid regions, well adapted to survive in dry and hot environments due to their ability to store water in their fleshy, thick stems. They are part of the Cactaceae family and are known for their distinctive appearance, usually featuring sharp spines or prickles. Many cacti are grown for their striking shapes and often beautiful, brightly colored flowers. They are widespread in regions such as the Americas, with some species also found in Africa and Sri Lanka.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cactusnoun

    any plant of the order Cactacae, as the prickly pear and the night-blooming cereus. See Cereus. They usually have leafless stems and branches, often beset with clustered thorns, and are mostly natives of the warmer parts of America

  2. Etymology: [L., a kind of cactus, Gr. .]

Wikidata

  1. Cactus

    A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, within the order Caryophyllales. The word "cactus" derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek κάκτος, a name originally used for a spiny plant whose identity is not certain. Cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which also grows in Africa and Sri Lanka. Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in extremely dry environments, even being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are highly modified leaves. As well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade. Cactus spines are produced from specialized structures called areoles, a kind of highly reduced branch. Areoles are an identifying feature of cacti. As well as spines, areoles give rise to flowers, which are usually tubular and multipetaled. In the absence of leaves, enlarged stems carry out photosynthesis. Unlike many other succulents, the stem is the only part of most cacti where this vital process takes place. Cactus stems also store water, and are often ribbed or fluted, which allows them to expand and contract easily. Cacti occur in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The tallest free-standing cactus is Pachycereus pringlei, with a maximum recorded height of 19.2 m, and the smallest is Blossfeldia liliputiana, only about 1 cm in diameter at maturity. The smaller cacti usually have globe-shaped stems, combining the highest possible volume with the lowest possible surface area. Many cacti have short growing seasons and long dormancies, and are able to react quickly to any rainfall, helped by an extensive but relatively shallow root system. A fully grown saguaro is said to be able to absorb as much as 200 US gallons of water during a rainstorm.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cactus

    kak′tus, n. an American plant, generally with prickles instead of leaves.—adj. Cactā′ceous, pertaining to or like the cactus. [Gr., a prickly plant found in Sicily.]

Suggested Resources

  1. cactus

    Song lyrics by cactus -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by cactus on the Lyrics.com website.

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Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cactus in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cactus in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of cactus in a Sentence

  1. Surfside Police Detective Marian Cruz:

    [ He said ] he collects cactus plants, and that was his excuse.

  2. Richard Douaillet:

    He chased a rabbit into a big giant cactus, it was bad, really bad. We rushed him into an emergency hospital and about six, seven hours later he came out.

  3. Laura Cipullo:

    Laura Cipullo says. $ 2.49 each at Whole Foods( locations atWholeFoodsMarket.com) 7. Pitaya Also known as dragon fruit, this colorful cactus has a kiwilike taste. It’s rich in phytonutrients, good fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants, says Laura Cipullo, a registered dietitian based near Union Square. How to enjoy it : Slice it open raw and scoop out the flesh for a refreshing and healthy treat, or look for frozen pitaya and make smoothies with it. $ 4 a pound at Hong Kong Supermarket, 157 Hester St. ; 212-966-0337 FOLLOW Laura Cipullo ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS 8. Cracked freekeh Move over, quinoa, and make room for freekeh.

  4. Travis Scott:

    I couldn't be more excited to bring the Cactus Jack x McDonald's collaboration to life, we are bringing together two iconic worlds.

  5. Tom Cech:

    If you don't have irrigation in Colorado -- in the West -- all you're going to grow is probably prickly pear cactus and sagebrush, water is key to that economic growth, not only in Colorado or Western Nebraska, but in California and the West in general.

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Translations for cactus

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"cactus." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cactus>.

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