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lo·tus (lōtəs)
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n.
1.
a. Either of two aquatic plants, Nelumbo nucifera of Asia and Australia with pink flowers, or N. lutea of eastern North America with pale yellow flowers, or their cultivated varieties, having large round leaves, fragrant many-petaled flowers, a round perforated seedpod, and fleshy rhizomes.
b. The edible seed, leaf, or rhizome of either of these plants.
c. Any of several water lilies, especially Nymphaea caerula or N. lotus.
d. An artistic representation of the flower or bud of any of various lotuses or similar plants.
2. Any of several leguminous plants of the genus Lotus.
3. Greek Mythology
a. A small Mediterranean tree or shrub whose fruit was eaten by the lotus-eaters.
b. The fruit of this plant.

[Latin lōtus, name of several plants, from Greek lōtos.]
(click for a larger image)
lotus
sacred lotus
Nelumbo nucifera

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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