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[ahr-ti-chohk] /ˈɑr tɪˌtʃoʊk/
a tall, thistlelike composite plant, Cynara scolymus, native to the Mediterranean region, of which the numerous scalelike bracts and receptacle of the immature flower head are eaten as a vegetable.
the large, rounded, closed flower head itself.
Also called globe artichoke (for defs 1, 2).
Origin of artichoke
1525-35; < Upper Italian articiocco, variant (by dissimilation) of arciciocco, arcicioffo < *arcarcioffo < Old Spanish alcarchofa < dialectal Arabic al-kharshūf the artichoke Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for artichoke
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The stick remained in the air, and Pussy came back to the house like an 'artichoke.'

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • Therefore it is clear to my mind that the word was not 'artichoke,' but 'aristocrat,' that he used.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • “I think I should like an artichoke for luncheon,” said she.

    The Lady and the Pirate Emerson Hough
  • They quickly cut the artichoke heads and heaped them up in the baskets.

    Nobody's Girl Hector Malot
  • Put the water in soup kettle; add the artichoke, onions, and protose.

British Dictionary definitions for artichoke


Also called globe artichoke. a thistle-like Eurasian plant, Cynara scolymus, cultivated for its large edible flower head containing many fleshy scalelike bracts: family Asteraceae (composites)
the unopened flower head of this plant, which can be cooked and eaten
Word Origin
C16: from Italian articiocco, from Old Spanish alcarchofa, from Arabic al-kharshūf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for artichoke

1530s, from articiocco, Northern Italian variant of Italian arcicioffo, from Old Spanish alcarchofa, from Arabic al-hursufa "artichoke." The Northern Italian variation probably is from influence of ciocco "stump."

Folk etymology has twisted the word in English; the ending is probably influenced by choke, and early forms of the word in English include archecokk, hortichock, artychough, hartichoake. The plant was known in Italy by 1450s, brought to Florence from Naples in 1466, and introduced in England in the reign of Henry VIII. French artichaut (16c.), German Artischocke (16c.) both are also from Italian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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