Pronunciation: (lō'tus), [key]
1. a plant believed to be a jujube or elm, referred to in Greek legend as yielding a fruit that induced a state of dreamy and contented forgetfulness in those who ate it.
2. the fruit itself.
3. any aquatic plant of the genus Nelumbo, of the water lily family, having shieldlike leaves and showy, solitary flowers usually projecting above the water.
4. any of several water lilies of the genus Nymphaea.
5. a decorative motif derived from such a plant and used widely in ancient art, as on the capitals of Egyptian columns.
6. any shrubby plant of the genus Lotus, of the legume family, having red, pink, yellow, or white flowers.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.