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

  • noun A small cucumber, especially one used for pickling.
  • noun A pickle made from such a fruit.
  • noun A vine (Cucumis anguria) native to Africa and widely cultivated especially in the West Indies, having prickly fruit often harvested when immature for pickling.
  • noun The fruit of this plant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small-fruited variety of the cucumber, or simply a young green cucumber of an ordinary variety, used for pickling.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A kind of small, prickly cucumber, much used for pickles.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Sea gherkin.

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

  • noun A small cucumber, often pickled whole.

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

  • noun any of various small cucumbers pickled whole
  • noun small prickly cucumber


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

[Dutch gurken, pl. of gurk, cucumber, short for agurk, possibly from Polish ogorek, perhaps from Late Greek angourion.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From earlier Dutch plural of gurk (="cucumber"), shortened form of East Frisian augurk


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  • The name gherkin is applied to small pickling cucumbers.

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  • The gherkin is a small thick oval-shaped species of cucumber with

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  • Perhaps I was using 'gherkin' as an adjective, Zod?

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  • The Reichstag dome is powered by vegetable oil, while the Swiss Re building, nicknamed the "gherkin," uses a system of gardens to promote natural ventilation.

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  • Foster's studio, Foster and Partners, is responsible for some of the world's most iconic new buildings, including the Swiss Re headquarters in London (affectionately known as the "gherkin"), the new German Reichstag in Berlin, the Great Court for the British Museum, HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong and London, Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt and the Bilbao metro system.

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  • Critics had branded the proposed building a "gherkin", after the famous structure of the same name in London, though it would have shared no resemblance.


  • She shares that with her friends and I believe the word 'gherkin' might be used. "

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  • I am doing a arch assignment on the gherkin and was wondering if you could help me with it.

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  • Trying to "ketchup" with consumer demand for healthier foods, H.J. Heinz dropped the gherkin pickle from the condiment's more-than-a-century-old label logo and spruced it up with a tomato on the vine with the slogan "Grown not made."

    Heinz ketchup spruces up label with a tomato


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  • This has to be one of the best words ever created.

    June 16, 2009

  • This word came into English via Dutch or German from the Polish word for "cucumber", ogorek.

    June 17, 2010

  • OED suggests all the way back to Persian angarah.

    June 17, 2010