Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
any of a family (Dactylopiidae) of scale insects, esp. one (Dactylopius coccus) that has a brilliant-red body fluid, feeds on certain cactuses, is found chiefly in Mexico, and was formerly much used as a source of cochineal
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Any of several red scale insects of the family Dactylopiidae that feed on cacti, especially the prickly pear, and range from the southwest United States to Central America.