Acanthus (noun)

  1. A plant species, Acanthus mollis, native to the Mediterranean region, which has leaves and flowers resembling those used in classical ornamentation.
  2. A decorative motif resembling the leaves of the acanthus plant, used in classical architecture and decorative arts.


From latin acanthus, from ancient greek ἀκάνθα (akántha, "acanthus"), from a non-indo-european language.


  1. The capital of the column was ornamented with acanthus leaves.
  2. The acanthus is one of the most common motifs in classical Greek and Roman art.
  3. The artist carved acanthus leaves into the cornice.
  4. The acanthus plant is often used in Mediterranean gardens.
  5. The acanthus motif is used extensively in the decoration of churches and cathedrals.
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