a Mediterranean plant, Eruca vesicaria sativa, of the mustard family, having pungent leaves used in salads.
Also called rocket, roquette.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
arugula (əˈruːɡjʊlə)
another name for rocket
[C20: from N Italian dialect]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

edible cruciform plant (Eruca sativa) used originally in the Mediterranean region as a salad; the Amer.Eng. and Australian form of the name is (via Italian immigrants) from dial. variant of It. ruchetta, a dim. form of ruca-, from L. eruca, a name of some cabbage-like plant, from PIE *gher(s)-uka-,
from base *ghers- "to bristle" (see horror). In England, the usual name is rocket (1530), which is from It. ruchetta via Fr. roquette. It also sometimes is called hedge mustard.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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