• synonyms


  1. a shrub, Abelmoschus esculentus, of the mallow family, bearing beaked pods.
  2. the pods, used in soups, stews, etc.
  3. a dish made with the pods.
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Origin of okra

First recorded in 1670–80; said to be of West African origin, though precise source unknown; compare Igbo ókùrù okra
Also called gumbo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for okra


  1. Also called: ladies' fingers an annual malvaceous plant, Hibiscus esculentus, of the Old World tropics, with yellow-and-red flowers and edible oblong sticky green pods
  2. the pod of this plant, eaten in soups, stews, etcSee also gumbo (def. 1)
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Word Origin

C18: of W African 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 okra


1670s, from a West African language (cf. Akan nkruma "okra").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper