1A tropical American plant of the pea family, whose leaflets fold together and leaves bend down when touched. A common weed of sugar cane, it has become naturalized throughout the tropics.
Mimosa pudica, family Leguminosae‘Mimosa, the sensitive plant, folds up its leaves at night and opens them again in the day.’
- ‘In temperate climates, the sensitive plant is grown mainly as an indoor plant, usually for its fascinating behaviour.’
- ‘The sensitive plant commonly sold in stores as a curiosity is a member of the pea family.’
2 informal A delicate or sensitive person.
- ‘Perhaps the pressure was up because Godard was contested territory, favoured by the Screen group but also ‘the darling of the sensitive plants of Sight and Sound’.’
- ‘The implication is that poet-critics are some kind of sensitive plant, and their heads are easily turned.’