from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various cacti of the genera Nopalea or Opuntia, including the prickly pear and similar species.
  • n. The fleshy, oval, edible pad of such a cactus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A prickly pear cactus from the genus Opuntia, especially Opuntia cochinellifera.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cactaceous plant (Nopalea cochinellifera), originally Mexican, on which the cochineal insect feeds, and from which it is collected. The name is sometimes given to other species of Cactaceæ.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of several cactaceous plants which support the cochineal-insect. See cochineal, Nopalea, and Opuntia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. cactus having yellow flowers and purple fruits
  • n. any of several cacti of the genus Nopalea resembling prickly pears


American Spanish, from Nahuatl nopalli.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish nopal, from Nahuatl nopalli ("Opuntia cactus"). Compare nopales. (Wiktionary)



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