[brok-uh-lee, brok-lee]
a form of a cultivated cruciferous plant, Brassica oleracea botrytis, whose leafy stalks and clusters of usually green buds are eaten as a vegetable.
Compare cauliflower.

1690–1700; < Italian, plural of broccolo, equivalent to brocc(o) sprout (< Late Latin; see broach) + -olo diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
broccoli (ˈbrɒkəlɪ)
1.  a cultivated variety of cabbage, Brassica oleracea italica, having branched greenish flower heads
2.  the flower head of this plant, eaten as a vegetable before the buds have opened
3.  a variety of this plant that does not form a head, whose stalks are eaten as a vegetable
[C17: from Italian, plural of broccolo a little sprout, from brocco sprout, spike; see brocade]

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

1690s, from It. span class="foreign">broccoli, pl. of broccolo "a sprout, cabbage sprout," dim. of brocco "shoot, protruding tooth, small nail" (see brocade).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
She'd pull out that anecdote any time one of us kids balked at our broccoli.
It's a vitamin packed veggie related to broccoli that's easy to cook and quite
Fragrant flowers in late summer resemble scarlet heads of broccoli.
Wash the broccoli and cut off about one inch from stem end.
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