artichoke

[ ahr-ti-chohk ]
/ ˈɑr tɪˌtʃoʊk /

noun

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.

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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
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British Dictionary definitions for artichoke

artichoke
/ (ˈɑːtɪˌtʃəʊk) /

noun

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 for artichoke

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