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[ahr-ti-chohk] /ˈɑr tɪˌtʃoʊk/
a tall, thistlelike composite plant, Cynara scolymus, native to the Mediterranean region, of which the numerous scalelike bracts and receptacle of the immature flower head are eaten as a vegetable.
the large, rounded, closed flower head itself.
Also called globe artichoke (for defs 1, 2).
Origin of artichoke
1525-35; < Upper Italian articiocco, variant (by dissimilation) of arciciocco, arcicioffo < *arcarcioffo < Old Spanish alcarchofa < dialectal Arabic al-kharshūf the artichoke Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for artichoke


Also called globe artichoke. a thistle-like Eurasian plant, Cynara scolymus, cultivated for its large edible flower head containing many fleshy scalelike bracts: family Asteraceae (composites)
the unopened flower head of this plant, which can be cooked and eaten
Word Origin
C16: from Italian articiocco, from Old Spanish alcarchofa, from Arabic al-kharshūf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for artichoke

1530s, from articiocco, Northern Italian variant of Italian arcicioffo, from Old Spanish alcarchofa, from Arabic al-hursufa "artichoke." The Northern Italian variation probably is from influence of ciocco "stump."

Folk etymology has twisted the word in English; the ending is probably influenced by choke, and early forms of the word in English include archecokk, hortichock, artychough, hartichoake. The plant was known in Italy by 1450s, brought to Florence from Naples in 1466, and introduced in England in the reign of Henry VIII. French artichaut (16c.), German Artischocke (16c.) both are also from Italian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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