[brok-uh-lee, brok-lee]
See more synonyms for broccoli on
  1. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for broccoli

sauerkraut, kale, savoy, coleslaw, broccoli, colewort

Examples from the Web for broccoli

Contemporary Examples of broccoli

Historical Examples of broccoli

  • 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


  1. a cultivated variety of cabbage, Brassica oleracea italica, having branched greenish flower heads
  2. the flower head of this plant, eaten as a vegetable before the buds have opened
  3. a variety of this plant that does not form a head, whose stalks are eaten as a vegetable

Word Origin for broccoli

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

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