Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

cucumber

[kyoo-kuhm-ber]
See more synonyms for cucumber on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a creeping plant, Cucumis sativus, of the gourd family, occurring in many cultivated forms.
  2. the edible, fleshy fruit of this plant, of a cylindrical shape with rounded ends and having a green, warty skin.
  3. any of various allied or similar plants.
  4. the fruit of any such plant.
Show More

Origin of cucumber

1350–1400; Middle English cucumbre < Anglo-French, Old French co(u)combre < Latin cucumer-, stem of cucumis; replacing Middle English, Old English cucumer < Latin, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cucumber

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for cucumber

cucumber

noun
  1. a creeping cucurbitaceous plant, Cucumis sativus, cultivated in many forms for its edible fruitCompare squirting cucumber
  2. the cylindrical fruit of this plant, which has hard thin green rind and white crisp flesh
  3. any of various similar or related plants or their fruits
  4. cool as a cucumber very calm; self-possessed
Show More

Word Origin

C14: from Latin cucumis, of unknown origin
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 cucumber

n.

late 14c., from Old French cocombre (13c., Modern French concombre), from Latin cucumerem (nominative cucumis), perhaps from a pre-Italic Mediterranean language. The Latin word also is the source of Italian cocomero, Spanish cohombro, Portuguese cogombro. Replaced Old English eorþæppla (plural), literally "earth-apples."

Cowcumber was common form 17c.-18c., and that pronunciation lingered into 19c. Planted as a garden vegetable by 1609 by Jamestown colonists. Phrase cool as a cucumber (c.1732) embodies ancient folk knowledge confirmed by science in 1970: inside of a field cucumber on a warm day is 20 degrees cooler than the air temperature.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cucumber

cucumber

see cool as a cucumber.

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.