[ uh-roo-guh-luh ]
/ əˈru gə lə /


a Mediterranean plant, Eruca vesicaria sativa, of the mustard family, having pungent leaves used in salads.

Nearby words

  1. artzybasheff, boris,
  2. artzybashev,
  3. aru,
  4. aru islands,
  5. aruba,
  6. aruhe,
  7. arum,
  8. arum family,
  9. arum lily,
  10. arunachal pradesh

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for arugula

British Dictionary definitions for arugula


/ (əˈruːɡjʊlə) /


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