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any of various plants of the genus Cereus, of the cactus family, having large, usually white, funnel-shaped flowers.
any of several related, similar plants, especially of the genera Hylocereus, Nyctocereus, and Selenicereus.
Historical Examples

any tropical American cactus of the genus Cereus, esp C. jamacaru of N Brazil, which grows to a height of 13 metres (40 feet)
any of several similar and related cacti, such as the night-blooming cereus

cactus genus, 1730, from Latin cereus “waxen, waxy,” from cera “wax” (see cere (n.)). So called from its shape, which suggests a candle.


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  • Ceria

    a white-to-yellow, heavy powder, cerium dioxide, CeO 2 , usually derived from cerium nitrate by decomposition with heat: used chiefly in ceramics, glass polishing, and decolorizing. Historical Examples noun another name (not in technical usage) for ceric oxide

  • Ceric

    containing cerium, especially in the tetravalent state. adjective of or containing cerium in the tetravalent state

  • Ceric-oxide

    ceria. noun a white or yellow solid used in ceramics, enamels, and radiation shields. Formula: CeO2 Also called cerium dioxide, ceria

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