Noun Acanthus Definition and Examples







A herbaceous plant or shrub with bold flower spikes and spiny decorative leaves, found in warm regions of the Old World.
  1. 'Then our patch: some of it is paved, there is a frog pond, a fig tree, acanthus, bamboo and cranesbill.'
  2. 'Planted beneath it, and in the matching raised bed across the runnel, is a collection of bold and textural plants such as abutilon, acanthus, agapanthus, and Tasmanian tree fern.'
  3. 'Like those of the eighteenth century, these ‘flowers and leaves’ were variations on irises, carnations, roses, and acanthus.'
  4. 'Many featured floral and botanical patterns, often the lily or the acanthus leaf.'
  5. 'Along with the box - real and otherwise - are large terracotta pots of Chusan palms and acanthus, which can be moved around according to whim.'
  6. 'Spray artichokes, cynara carduncularus, achillea, lavender, hydrangea, acanthus and eryngiums with snow, glitter or metallic paints available from DIY shops.'
  7. 'One thinks of the acanthus, or bamboo, or (in Tibet), the tiger skin.'
  8. 'Jackson-Stops noted various French elements, including ‘the domed feet formed of acanthus leaves with a toe-like scroll in front, and the vertical, rather than raked, back legs of the armchairs’.'
  9. 'Made entirely of gold, the legs were capitals shaped like lilies and entwined about the golden table were a filigree of vines entwined with acanthus, the sacred metal worked so expertly, he was sure that they were living plants of gold.'
  10. 'This rope feature and the lion paw feet, legs, and exaggerated acanthus leaves are very similar to the one at Glin.'
  11. 'Its rich deep border was a riot of scrolling acanthus, shells and stylised fountains.'
  12. 'The architrave includes a Greek key design and other symbols, and the side archivolts are decorated with acanthus leaves.'
  13. 'The base is made of rippled walnut and amboyna, inset with marquetry of acanthus in satinwood (sand-burnt for three-dimensional effect), which was done by a Welsh firm, Anita Marquetry.'
  14. 'At 23 centimetres high and weighing 3,500 grams the candlesticks are highly ornamental, their tripod bases standing on scallop shell supports, centred by vacant medallions within acanthus leaf foliage on a matted ground.'
  15. 'While the Greeks had used the Corinthian capital with an Ionic entablature, the Romans invented a distinct cornice for the Corinthian order, characterized by large projecting modillions embellished with acanthus leaves.'
  16. 'One's eye is immediately drawn to the relief decoration of alternating acanthus and palm leaves that encircles the body just above the base.'
  17. 'The posts are beautifully carved with acanthus leaves and feathers, and the bed is elaborately draped with the original hangings of ribbed dimity trimmed with tassels and caught up above the frame on brass mounts.'
((n.) A genus of herbaceous prickly plants, found in the south of Europe, Asia Minor, and India; bear's-breech.|--|(n.) An ornament resembling the foliage or leaves of the acanthus (Acanthus spinosus); -- used in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders.|--|)

noun, plural acanthuses, acanthi[uh-kan-thahy]/əˈkæn θaɪ/(Show IPA)

1. any of several plants of the genus Acanthus, of the Mediterranean region, having spiny or toothed leaves and showy, white or purplish flowers.Compare acanthus family.

2. an architectural ornament, as in the Corinthian capital, resembling the leaves of this plant.


"There can be acanthus leaves."
"There can be acanthus spinosuses."
"There can be acanthus foliages."
"There can be acanthus decorations."
"There can be acanthus sprays."
"There can be acanthus spinosises."
"There can be acanthus patterns."
"There can be acanthus motifs."
"There can be acanthus leaves."
"There can be acanthus dioscoridises."

Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek akanthos, from akantha ‘thorn’, from akē ‘sharp point’.

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