The acanthus plant is also known as bear's breech.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- any of a genus (Acanthus) of thistlelike plants of the acanthus family with lobed, often spiny leaves and long spikes of white or colored flowers, found in the Mediterranean region
- Archit. a motif or conventional representation of the leaf of this plant, used esp. on the capitals of Corinthian columns
Origin: Modern Latin ; from Classical Latin ; from Classical Greek akanthos: see acantho-
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noun pl. a·can·thus·es or a·can·thi
- Any of various perennial herbs or small shrubs of the genus Acanthus, native to the Mediterranean and having pinnately lobed basal leaves with spiny margins and showy spikes of white or purplish flowers. Also called bear's breech.
- Architecture A design patterned after the leaves of one of these plants, used especially on the capitals of Corinthian columns.
Origin: New Latin Acanthus, genus name, from Greek akanthos, thorn plant, from akantha, thorn.
- a·canˈthine adjective