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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.
1. (Botany) of or resembling an acanthus
2. decorated with acanthus leaves