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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arugula

Contemporary Examples of arugula

  • At the checkout, her total for bananas, arugula, blackberries, kale, yogurt, rice noodles, and tofu comes to $34.21.

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    The Gluten-Free Diet Has Two Faces

    Andrea Powell

    May 6, 2014

  • Serve the burgers in toasted pita bread with lots of arugula, thinly sliced red onions, and roasted red peppers.

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    Foods That We Love But Shouldn’t

    Lydia Brownlow

    July 15, 2011

  • Serve in warm pita bread with arugula, roasted red pepper, sliced red onion, and the following salsa.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Foods That We Love But Shouldn’t

    Lydia Brownlow

    July 15, 2011

  • Toss together the radicchio, arugula, apple and pumpkin seeds in a medium bowl.

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    Divine Apple Dishes

    Anne Burrell

    January 6, 2011

  • With the heartland hungry for a different kind of change, Pence is the conservative antidote to arugula.

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    Sarah Palin's Newest Rival

    Mark McKinnon

    October 27, 2010

British Dictionary definitions for arugula


  1. another name for rocket 2 (def. 2)

Word Origin for arugula

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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper