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[uh-roo-guh-luh] /əˈru gə lə/
a Mediterranean plant, Eruca vesicaria sativa, of the mustard family, having pungent leaves used in salads.
Also called rocket, roquette.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for arugula
  • Toss arugula with salt and pepper and pile atop pesto.
  • Put some arugula in a bowl and throw a little olive oil on it.
  • arugula has a distinctive, appealingly peppery flavor.
  • Red mustard, purple mizuna, and arugula come up wherever they want.
  • Simple and ultralight, with touches of bitter almond and arugula flavors.
  • It's peppered chicken served with an arugula and chili vinaigrette.
  • It is noted for its pan-seared soft-shells served with red pepper remoulade and an arugula salad.
  • Warm this salad slightly and serve small spoonfuls on crisp arugula or mesclun greens as an appetizer.
British Dictionary definitions for arugula


another name for rocket2 (sense 2)
Word Origin
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
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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
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