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arugula

[uh-roo-guh-luh]
noun
  1. a Mediterranean plant, Eruca vesicaria sativa, of the mustard family, having pungent leaves used in salads.
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Origin of arugula

1965–70; apparently < an Upper Italian dial. form, akin to Lombard arigola, Venetian rucola < Latin ērūca name for Eruca sativa (compare Italian ruca), with diminutive suffix -ola < Latin -ula -ule; cf. rocket2
Also called rocket, roquette.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for arugula

arugula

noun
  1. another name for rocket 2 (def. 2)
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Word Origin

C20: from N Italian dialect
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

Word Origin and History for arugula

n.

edible cruciform plant (Eruca sativa) used originally in the Mediterranean region as a salad; the American English and Australian form of the name is (via Italian immigrants) from dialectal variant of Italian ruchetta, a diminutive form of ruca-, from Latin eruca, a name of some cabbage-like plant, from PIE *gher(s)-uka-, from root *ghers- "to bristle" (see horror).

In England, the usual name is rocket (see rocket (n.1)), which is from Italian ruchetta via French roquette. It also sometimes is called hedge mustard.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper