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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[əˈkænθəs] N (acanthuses, acanthi (pl)) → acanto m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n (= plant)Bärenklau f, → Akanthus m (also Archit)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
"Upon my soul, so it's you, 'Joannes Frollo de Molendino!'" 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.
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.
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.
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.
The mahogany longcase clock made by Aberdeen clockmaker George Morison in the late 18th century is decorated with an acanthus leaf at the centre of the top arch.
I grew several acanthus from seed and they seemed to thrive, but now they have stopped growing.
Gillon, 19, of Acanthus Avenue, Fenham, admitted using threatening and abusive behaviour with intent to provoke unlawful violence.
Experts: Michael Walsh, owner,; Debra Watson, Acanthus Design Group, Barrington,
We flew with and stayed at the super-chic Barut Acanthus and Cennet.
Verbascum, primula, Japanese anemones, acanthus, oriental poppies and phlox are all suitable species for this method.
"LA FEMME FATALE" is engraved on the body of the ring along with decorative acanthus leaves.
A QUINTESSENTIALLY French mirror decorated with swags, bows and acanthus leaves, this is an ideal addition to bedrooms.