[loh-tuh s] /ˈloʊ təs/

noun, plural lotuses.
a plant believed to be a jujube or elm, referred to in Greek legend as yielding a fruit that induced a state of dreamy and contented forgetfulness in those who ate it.
the fruit itself.
any aquatic plant of the genus Nelumbo, of the water lily family, having shieldlike leaves and showy, solitary flowers usually projecting above the water.
any of several water lilies of the genus Nymphaea.
a decorative motif derived from such a plant and used widely in ancient art, as on the capitals of Egyptian columns.
any shrubby plant of the genus Lotus, of the legume family, having red, pink, yellow, or white flowers.
(in Greek mythology) a fruit that induces forgetfulness and a dreamy languor in those who eat it
the plant bearing this fruit, thought to be the jujube, the date, or any of various other plants
any of several water lilies of tropical Africa and Asia, esp the white lotus (Nymphaea lotus), which was regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt
a similar plant, Nelumbo nucifera, which is the sacred lotus of India, China, and Tibet and also sacred in Egypt: family Nelumbonaceae
a representation of such a plant, common in Hindu, Buddhist, and ancient Egyptian carving and decorative art
any leguminous plant of the genus Lotus, of the Old World and North America, having yellow, pink, or white pealike flowers

1540s, from Latin lotus, from Greek lotos, name used for several plants before it came to mean Egyptian white lotus (a sense attested in English from 1580s); perhaps from a Semitic source (cf. Hebrew lot “myrrh”). The yogic sense is attested from 1848. Lotus-eaters (1812) are from Greek lotophagoi, mentioned in “Odyssey,” book IX.


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