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[brok-uh-lee, brok-lee] /ˈbrɒk ə li, ˈbrɒk li/
a form of a cultivated cruciferous plant, Brassica oleracea botrytis, whose leafy stalks and clusters of usually green buds are eaten as a vegetable.
Compare cauliflower.
Origin of broccoli
1690-1700; < Italian, plural of broccolo, equivalent to brocc(o) sprout (< Late Latin; see broach) + -olo diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for broccoli
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In England, as I have said, it is grown to a limited extent, but not so much as that of broccoli.

    The Cauliflower A. A. Crozier
  • broccoli is cooked in nearly all cases precisely as cauliflower.

    The Cauliflower A. A. Crozier
  • Fifteen varieties of broccoli and three of cauliflower are described.

    The Cauliflower A. A. Crozier
  • In its structure and general habit, the broccoli resembles the Cauliflower.

  • There is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding the Cauliflower and broccoli.

British Dictionary definitions for broccoli


a cultivated variety of cabbage, Brassica oleracea italica, having branched greenish flower heads
the flower head of this plant, eaten as a vegetable before the buds have opened
a variety of this plant that does not form a head, whose stalks are eaten as a vegetable
Word Origin
C17: from Italian, plural of broccolo a little sprout, from brocco sprout, spike; see brocade
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 broccoli

1690s, from Italian broccoli, plural of broccolo "a sprout, cabbage sprout," diminutive of brocco "shoot, protruding tooth, small nail" (see brocade (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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