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