The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Lotus \Lo"tus\ (l[=o]"t[u^]s), n. [L. lotus, Gr. lwto`s. Cf.
(a) A name of several kinds of water lilies; as Nelumbium
speciosum, used in religious ceremonies, anciently in
Egypt, and to this day in Asia; Nelumbium luteum,
the American lotus; and Nymph[ae]a Lotus and
Nymph[ae]a c[ae]rulea, the respectively
white-flowered and blue-flowered lotus of modern
Egypt, which, with Nelumbium speciosum, are figured
on its ancient monuments.
(b) The lotus of the lotuseaters, probably a tree found in
Northern Africa, Sicily, Portugal, and Spain
(Zizyphus Lotus), the fruit of which is mildly
sweet. It was fabled by the ancients to make strangers
who ate of it forget their native country, or lose all
desire to return to it.
(c) The lote, or nettle tree. See Lote.
(d) A genus (Lotus) of leguminous plants much resembling
clover. [Written also lotos.]
European lotus, a small tree (Diospyros Lotus) of
Southern Europe and Asia; also, its rather large bluish
black berry, which is called also the date plum.
2. (Arch.) An ornament much used in Egyptian architecture,
generally asserted to have been suggested by the Egyptian
[1913 Webster] Lotus-eater