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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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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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