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From Ancient Greek ἄκανθα (ákantha, thorn), from ἀκή (akḗ, thorn) + ἄνθος (ánthos, flower).



acantha (plural acanthas)

  1. (botany) A prickle.
  2. (zoology) A spine or prickly fin.
  3. (anatomy) A spinous process of a vertebra.
    • 1968, Margaret Tallmadge May, Galen on the usefulness of the parts of the body[1], translation of original by Galen, page 581:
      Moreover, all the outgrowths which I have said constitute the acantha are not of equal size in all the vertebrae, and Nature has done this with wonderful forethought.
    • 1980, Renate Zauner, Speaking of Children's Posture Problems and the Injuries They Cause, page 55:
      Individual vertebral bodies (right) as seen from the side and from above. The acantha is the spiney projection on the right of each illustration: in the lower illustration the boney spinal canal is shown between the acantha and the vertebral body.
    • 2005, Michael Foeldi, Roman Strossenreuther, Foundations of Manual Lymph Drainage, page 73:
      Rotary strokes or stationary circles in the direction of the flank / Alternate from the acantha of the vertebral column in the direction of the flank (medial to lateral)