• Acanthus in architecture
    Acanthus in architecture
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n acanthus any plant of the genus Acanthus having large spiny leaves and spikes or white or purplish flowers; native to Mediterranean region but widely cultivated
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Acanthus (Bot) A genus of herbaceous prickly plants, found in the south of Europe, Asia Minor, and India; bear's-breech.
    • Acanthus (Arch) An ornament resembling the foliage or leaves of the acanthus (Acanthus spinosus); -- used in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n acanthus In botany, a genus of tall herbaceous plants of southern Europe and Africa, natural order Acanthaceæ. They have large spinosely toothed leaves, and are sometimes cultivated for the sake of their beautiful foliage.
    • n acanthus [lowercase] The common name of plants of this genus. In zoology, a genus of crustaceans. [lowercase] In architecture, a characteristic ornament derived from or resembling the conventionalized foliage or leaves of the acanthus, used in capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders, and in Roman, Byzantine, medieval, and Renaissance architecture generally, as upon friezes, cornices, modillions, etc.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Acanthus a-kan′thus a prickly plant, called bear's breech or brank-ursine:
    • Acanthus also Acan′tha
    • n Acanthus a-kan′thus (archit.) an ornament resembling its leaves used in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders, &c
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., from Gr. . Cf. Acantha
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.—Gr. akanthosakē, a point, anthos, a flower.


In literature:

These resolutions were passed, and the deputies from Acanthus rose again.
"Hellenica" by Xenophon
The cities referred to are Argilus, Stagirus, Acanthus, Scolus, Olynthus, and Spartolus.
"The History of the Peloponnesian War" by Thucydides
The cubical capitals are of white marble and very beautifully carved with figures of angels and acanthus wreaths.
"Byzantine Churches in Constantinople" by Alexander Van Millingen
"Architecture" by Thomas Roger Smith
Acanthus forms employed by Morris, 139.
"Rugs: Oriental and Occidental, Antique & Modern" by Rosa Belle Holt
The mould grows up, and hides the capital of the fallen column; the acanthus is hidden in earth.
"Amaryllis at the Fair" by Richard Jefferies
I would rather have him show me an acanthus than a finished drawing of the foliation of a capital.
"Émile" by Jean Jacques Rousseau
Acanthus, leaf of, its use in architecture, i.
"The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3)" by John Ruskin
It recalls the story of the acanthus leaf and the basket which suggested the Ionic capital.
"Legends of Florence Collected from the People, First Series" by Charles Godfrey Leland
The great acanthus-leaves, and all the plentiful undergrowth, are dripping and rejoicing.
"Alas!" by Rhoda Broughton
With the transition comes a change in the flowered capitals, from the acanthus to tracery and grotesque animals.
"The Cathedrals of Southern France" by Francis Miltoun
Acanthus carduifolius is the choicest camel-fodder in the desert.
"The Highlands of Ethiopia" by William Cornwallis Harris
It could not bury itself in acanthus leaves.
"The Seven Lamps of Architecture" by John Ruskin
Roof tile, with antefixal end, with a palmette in relief above two volutes springing from an acanthus.
"A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Volume I (of 2)" by A. H. Smith
The capitals are formed by the semi-Gothic classical acanthus leaves of the period.
"Cathedral Cities of Italy" by William Wiehe Collins
They had all been strolling up and down in the shade of the so-called Basilica, amid the fern and acanthus.
"The Front Yard" by Constance Fenimore Woolson
The surrounding hillsides were scarlet and purple, gold and bronze, and great masses of green where ilex-trees and acanthus grew.
"The Hill of Venus" by Nathan Gallizier
He is crowned with the acanthus wreath; but the wreath of mockery is the royalty of our race.
"Expositor's Bible: The Epistles of St. John" by William Alexander
They are of the Corinthian order; their capitals being beautifully ornamented with the acanthus leaf.
"Ruins of Ancient Cities (Vol. I of II)" by Charles Bucke
Accomplishments are ornamental, yet they are only the acanthus that decorates the pillar, not the pillar itself.
"Blue-Stocking Hall, (Vol 1 of 3)" by William Pitt Scargill

In news:

Flame acanthus (Anisicanthus quadrifidus, var.
Acanthus Studio's Green Grid animations gives an accurate picture of how a ball would break on the 10th and 15th holes at the US Open last week in New York.
The Park Avenue collection from Enkeboll is inspired by the pre-war architecture of New York City's Park Avenue and the classical Acanthus leaf.
They are carved in a full twist—in this case they are sinuously entwined with gilded acanthus sprays running across the base—so that the entire piece of furniture rests on the dolphins' heads.