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n. pl. a·can·thus·es or a·can·thi (-thī′)
1. 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.
2. Architecture A design patterned after the leaves of one of these plants, used especially on the capitals of Corinthian columns.

[New Latin Acanthus, genus name, from Greek akanthos, thorn plant, from akantha, thorn.]

a·can′thine (-thĭn, -thīn) adj.


(əˈkænθəs) (əˈkænθ) or


n, pl -thuses or -thi (-θaɪ)
1. (Plants) any shrub or herbaceous plant of the genus Acanthus, native to the Mediterranean region but widely cultivated as ornamental plants, having large spiny leaves and spikes of white or purplish flowers: family Acanthaceae. See also bear's-breech
2. (Architecture) a carved ornament based on the leaves of the acanthus plant, esp as used on the capital of a Corinthian column
[C17: New Latin, from Greek akanthos, from akantha thorn, spine]


(əˈkæn θəs)

n., pl. -thus•es, -thi (-θaɪ)
1. any of several plants of the genus Acanthus, of the Mediterranean region, having spiny or toothed leaves and showy white or purplish flowers.
2. an architectural ornament, as on a Corinthian capital, resembling the leaves of this plant.
[1610–20; < New Latin, Latin < Greek ákanthos bear's-foot]
a•can′thine (-θɪn, -θaɪn) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.acanthus - any plant of the genus Acanthus having large spiny leaves and spikes or white or purplish flowersacanthus - any plant of the genus Acanthus having large spiny leaves and spikes or white or purplish flowers; native to Mediterranean region but widely cultivated
herb, herbaceous plant - a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests
genus Acanthus - bear's breeches
Acanthus mollis, bear's breech, bear's breeches, sea holly - widely cultivated southern European acanthus with whitish purple-veined flowers


[əˈkænθəs] N (acanthuses, acanthi (pl)) → acanto m


n (= plant)Bärenklau f, → Akanthus m (also Archit)
References in classic literature ?
Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd On to thir blissful Bower; it was a place Chos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'd All things to mans delightful use; the roofe Of thickest covert was inwoven shade Laurel and Mirtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side ACANTHUS, and each odorous bushie shrub Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flour, IRIS all hues, Roses, and Gessamin Rear'd high thir flourisht heads between, and wrought Mosaic; underfoot the Violet, Crocus, and Hyacinth with rich inlay Broiderd the ground, more colour'd then with stone Of costliest Emblem: other Creature here Beast, Bird, Insect, or Worm durst enter none; Such was thir awe of man.
cried one of them, to a sort of little, light-haired imp, with a well-favored and malign countenance, clinging to the acanthus leaves of a capital; "you are well named John of the Mill, for your two arms and your two legs have the air of four wings fluttering on the breeze.
He had a glimpse, as the Vaterland rolled over, of some large buildings burning close below them, a quivering acanthus of flames, and then he saw indistinctly through the driving weather another airship wallowing along like a porpoise, and also working up.
It is a truly grotesque vegetation, whose forms and color we see imitated in bronze, a sort of architectural foliage more ancient and typical than acanthus, chiccory, ivy, vine, or any vegetable leaves; destined perhaps, under some circumstances, to become a puzzle to future geologists.
Verbascum, primula, Japanese anemones, acanthus, oriental poppies (pictured) and phlox are all suitable species for this method.
Keeler's Best of KBIS entry entails the Acanthus collection; bringing one distinct decorative hardware design into a cohesive statement throughout the whole home.
For further information please contact: Alan Smart Acanthus Cast Stone Ltd Wimsey Way Somercotes Derbyshire DE55 4LS
Acanthus has a mind of its own and spreads by thick, fleshy roots.
In the U14s Conference, champions Acanthus Juniors were forced to battle hard to maintain their amazing winning streak against Westgarth United, who themselves looked title challengers early in the season.
Last week Phil Taylor from Kent asked why his acanthus, which was under a red robin, kept developing powdery white dust on its leaves.
A set of four George IV fruit bowls, embossed with acanthus leaves and flower heads.