acanthus definition

  • noun:
    • 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 following the leaves of 1 of those flowers, used specially in the capitals of Corinthian columns.
    • A genus of herbaceous prickly plants, found in the south of European countries, Asia small, and Asia; bear's-breech.
    • An ornament resembling the vegetation or leaves for the acanthus (Acanthus spinosus); -- found in the capitals for the Corinthian and Composite purchases.
    • In botany, a genus of high herbaceous plants of south European Countries and Africa, normal order Acanthace√¶.
    • [lowercase] The common name of flowers of the genus. In zoology, a genus of crustaceans. [lowercase] In design, a characteristic ornament based on or resembling the conventionalized foliage or leaves associated with the acanthus, used in capitals of Corinthian and Composite orders, and in Roman, Byzantine, medieval, and Renaissance architecture usually, as upon friezes, cornices, modillions, etc.
    • any plant of the genus Acanthus having large spiny leaves and surges or white or purplish flowers; indigenous to Mediterranean area but extensively cultivated

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