Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hard, usually smoked Italian cheese.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A semi-hard cheese made of whole milk from cows. It comes primarily from Southern Italy.

Etymologies

Italian, augmentative of provola, a kind of cheese.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian augmentation of provola (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • In standard Italian the 'e' would be produced, though in some dialects it would not. Many emigrants and indeed emigrant communities left Italy with more or less only their own dialect and not the national language, which has solidified largely as a result of national service since WWII.

    December 26, 2007

  • I respectfully disagree. Italians pronounce the final vowel, but many Italian Americans do not, especially those from the New York area. My mother, her Italian father, the rest of my extended family on my mother's side, and, as far as I was able to tell, their entire neighborhood (the Flatbush section of Brooklyn) dropped vowels all over the place. Once you hear the same pronunciation from that many people it's enshrined by usage, in my opinion. As allowable, at least, if not correct.

    Here's a New York Times article about the phenomenon. From which it seems you're not the only one who cringes :-)

    December 26, 2007