from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A plant (Brassica oleracea var. italica) in the mustard family, having dense clusters of numerous green flower buds.
  • noun The flower clusters of this plant, eaten as a vegetable before the flower buds open.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of the many varieties of the common cabbage (Brassica oleracea), in which the young inflorescence is contracted into a depressed fleshy edible head. It is closely similar to the cauliflower.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A plant of the Cabbage species (Brassica oleracea) of many varieties, resembling the cauliflower. The “curd,” or flowering head, is the part used for food.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A plant, Brassica oleracea var. italica, of the cabbage family, Brassicaceae; especially, the tree-shaped flower and stalk that are eaten as a vegetable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun plant with dense clusters of tight green flower buds
  • noun branched green undeveloped flower heads


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

[Italian, pl. of broccolo, flowering sprout of a turnip, diminutive of brocco, shoot, sprout, from Vulgar Latin *brocca, spike; see brocade.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1699, Italian broccoli, plural of broccolo, diminutive of brocco ("shoot, sprout"), from whence also brocade.


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  • The word oozes out of my mouth in a process much similar to the regurgitation that occurs when I attempt to eat the vegetable.

    April 17, 2008

  • What an unpleasant image.

    April 17, 2008

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you say broccoli and broccolo, just as you can say spaghetti and spaghetto?

    April 17, 2008

  • Of course you can! And the same is for zucchina (s) and zucchine (pl), lasagna and lasagne... Berluscone and Berlusconi... no, not this one.

    ("Nobody is listing Berlusconi. Why don't you?"...

    ...I have my good reasons, thank you Wordie.)

    April 17, 2008

  • lol five, what a ripe comment! You need either elocution lessons or cookery classes, or both ;-)

    April 17, 2008

  • But wait. I understand what a zucchina is. But what's a broccola? The veggie seems singularly fractal to me, tough to make singular.

    Broccoli always reminds me of the absurdly funny sketch on Saturday Night Live about an over-the-hill rocker singing "chopping broccoli" over and over again.

    April 18, 2008

  • A broccolo is a single broccoli head... but what the hell, I agree with you!

    ...and it's not the only Italian vegetable with identity problems.

    April 18, 2008

  • "It's not the only Italian vegetable with identity problems."


    *wondering about cauliflower*

    April 18, 2008

  • I think Pro is alluding to finocchio.

    There may be other vegetable brethren in the infirmary.

    April 18, 2008

  • I'm thinking of uva (grapes), that is a singulare tantum. W H Y

    April 18, 2008

  • Just teasing, bilby. I do like finocchio, though. And uva. Plural or singular. :-)

    April 18, 2008

  • Related etymologically to 'broach' (q.v. for more detail), 'brooch', and 'broker'.

    March 6, 2009

  • "I do not like broccoli and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli. Now look, this is the last statement I’m going to have on broccoli. There are truckloads of broccoli at this very minute descending on Washington. My family is divided. For the broccoli vote out there: Barbara loves broccoli. She has tried to make me eat it. She eats it all the time herself. So she can go out and meet the caravan of broccoli that’s coming in."

    -March 1990 News Conference, George W. Bush

    July 25, 2009

  • Dubya? Or aitch dubya? Great quote though.

    July 25, 2009

  • That would be aitch dubya. In 1990, dubya was probably too wasted to give a statement that coherent. Although, I guess he never reached that level even when he sobered up.

    July 25, 2009

  • "The vegetable, of course, has been around for thousands of years, but in the United States it's been farmed commercially only since the 1920s, and the first advertising campaign on its behalf didn't occur until 1929—and even then, the ads were in Italian."

    --from "Drumstick Lipstick, explained!" (about Cole Porter's song "You're the Top")

    October 25, 2010

  • Broccoli was first grown in the United States in Santa Clara, California. Before there was the Silicon Valley there was the Broccolian Valley.

    October 25, 2010

  • I feel like someone should write a tragicomic novel about the incipient Californian broccoli industry.

    October 25, 2010

  • And the title should be something like "From Cabbage Fleurs to Sandchips."

    October 25, 2010

  • It would be sort of a cross between "The Octopus" and "Vineland".

    October 25, 2010

  • The octopus? Yarb, are you psychic?

    October 26, 2010

  • If Pynchon carks it tomorrow then I guess I am.

    October 26, 2010

  • "2 days ago yarb said

    If Pynchon carks it tomorrow then I guess I am."

    *checks various news outlets*

    I haven't seen anything....

    October 29, 2010