American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An aquatic plant (Nelumbo nucifera) native to southern Asia and Australia, having large leaves, fragrant, pinkish flowers, a broad, rounded, perforated seedpod, and fleshy rhizomes.
- n. The edible seed, leaf, or rhizome of this plant.
- n. Any of several similar or related plants, such as the water lilies Nymphaea caerula or N. lotus.
- n. A representation of any of various lotuses or similar plants in Egyptian or classical sculpture, architecture, or art.
- n. Any of several leguminous plants of the genus Lotus.
- n. Greek Mythology A small Mediterranean tree or shrub whose fruit was eaten by the lotus-eaters.
- n. Greek Mythology The fruit of this plant.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of a number of different plants famous in mythology and tradition, or in modern times associated with traditions. Aside from the Homeric lotus (see
Lotophagiand lotus-tree), the name was also given to several species of water-lily, as the blue water-lily, Castalia scutifolia (Nymphæa cærulæa), the Egyptian water-lily, C. mystica (Nymphæa Lotus), and the nelumbo (Nelumbium speciosum), the Pythagorean or sacred bean, which grow in stagnant or slowly running waters. Castalia secutifolia and C. mystica are often found figured on Egyptian buildings, columns, etc., and the nelumbo, or Hindu and Chinese lotus, bears a prominent part in mythology. In the decorative art of India the lotus-flower is used especially as a support to the figure of a divinity or of a sage or deified personage. It is so represented both in relief or solid, as in bronze, and in paintings. Similar representations in Chinese and Japanese art seem to be derived directly from India.
- n. [capitalized] [NL. (Tournefort, 1700).] A genus of leguminous plants, type of tribe Loteæ, distinguished by a two-valved pod and the pointed keel of the corolla. About 100 species have been described, which may be reduced to 50. They are found in the temperate and mountainous regions of Europe and Asia, also in Africa, America, and Australia. The plants are shrubby herbs, with peculiar quadri- to quinquefoliate leaves, of which three leaflets are near the apex of the leaf and the other two are near the base, so as to have the appearance of stipules. The flowers are red, pink, or white, and disposed in axillary umbels. The pod is oblong or often linear, and straight or curved. Many of the species are cultivated. A general name for plants of the genus is bird's,-foot trefoil. L. corniculatus is the common bird's-foot trefoil or clover of Great Britain, etc., also called cat-in-clover, fingers-and-toes, and by other fanciful names. Its herbage is highly nutritious, and it is a valuable pasture-and meadow-plant, with taller fodder-plants, or in inferior soils. Some other species are also valuable. L. Jacobæa is sometimes called
St. James's flower, or jacobi.
- n. In architecture, an ornament in the form of Egyptian water-lily, Castalia mystica, frequently figured in the art of ancient nations, notably on certain types of the capitals of Egyptian columns.
- n. Nelumbo Nelumbo, a native of the warmer parts of Asia and of Australia, apparently not of Egypt, though long cultivated there and often called Egyptian lotus. It is a superb plant with large, showy pink or sometimes white flowers. It is very common in cultivation, and figures extensively in Indian mythology.
- n. A kind of aquatic plant, genus Nelumbo in the family Nelumbonaceae.
- n. A water lily, genus Nymphaea, especially those of Egypt or India.
- n. A legendary plant eaten by the Lotophagi of the Odyssey that caused drowsiness and euphoria.
- n. A number of other plants bearing "lotus" in their scientific or common names.
- n. An architectural motif of ancient Egyptian temples.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A name of several kinds of water lilies; as Nelumbium speciosum, used in religious ceremonies, anciently in Egypt, and to this day in Asia; Nelumbium luteum, the American lotus; and Nymphæa Lotus and Nymphæa cærulea, the respectively white-flowered and blue-flowered lotus of modern Egypt, which, with Nelumbium speciosum, are figured on its ancient monuments.
- n. The
lotusof the lotuseaters, probably a tree found in Northern Africa, Sicily, Portugal, and Spain (Zizyphus Lotus), the fruit of which is mildly sweet. It was fabled by the ancients to make strangers who ate of it forget their native country, or lose all desire to return to it.
- n. The lote, or nettle tree. See lote.
- n. A genus (Lotus) of leguminous plants much resembling clover.
- n. (Arch.) An ornament much used in Egyptian architecture, generally asserted to have been suggested by the Egyptian water lily.
- n. white Egyptian lotus: water lily of Egypt to southeastern Africa; held sacred by the Egyptians
- n. native to eastern Asia; widely cultivated for its large pink or white flowers
- n. annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs
- From Latin lōtus (Wiktionary)
- Latin lōtus, name of several plants, from Greek lōtos. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Dr. Taylor, in his Topography of Dacca, speaks of fecula or starch being obtained from the Egyptian lotus (_Nymphæa lotus_), which is used by the native practitioners as a substitute for arrowroot.”
The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom Considered in Their Various Uses to Man and in Their Relation to the Arts and Manufactures; Forming a Practical Treatise & Handbook of Reference for the Colonist, Manufacturer, Merchant, and Consumer, on the Cultivation, Preparation for Shipment, and Commercial Value, &c. of the Various Substances Obtained From Trees and Plants, Entering into the Husbandry of Tropical and Sub-tropical Regions, &c.
“Specially characteristic of Egypt, though not altogether peculiar to it, were the papyrus and the lotus -- the _Cyperus papyrus_ and _Nymphæa lotus_ of botanists.”
“The gourd-shaped vase, covered in lotus flowers and vine-like tendrils, was made in the Imperial workshops of Qianlong.”
“Sotheby The gourd-shaped vase, covered in lotus flowers and vine-like tendrils, was made in the Imperial workshops of Qianlong.”
“While awake, Charlie thought of himself sitting in lotus position in his clear bubble.”
“In the pages of the Oracle, we find a photograph of a nude woman in lotus position, suckling a child against a psychedelic background suggestive of an aura.”
“There's not much about ID in lotus land, but there's a Conservative Christian Bible belt which professes "God created the heavens and the earth" and the two apparently go hand in hand.”
“The lotus is significant to Theravada buddhism because the plant blooms out from the murky waters of a lake, representing enlightenment from ignorance.”
“Time goes by in lotus dreams that have no memory of a past or reckoning of a future till we wake suddenly, and find anchor cast in the gulf of Aden.”
“The spiral, either in its simplest form, or in combination with the rosette or the lotus, is an Egyptian design.”
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