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[brok-uh-lee, brok-lee] /ˈbrɒk ə li, ˈbrɒk li/
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.
Origin of broccoli
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for broccoli
  • 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 tasty.
  • Fragrant flowers in late summer resemble scarlet heads of broccoli.
  • Wash the broccoli and cut off about one inch from stem end.
  • Pointing out that a dinner partner has broccoli in her teeth is not the same thing as pointing and laughing.
  • Have some raw broccoli in your salad at lunch, have some steamed broccoli as part of your dinner.
  • The never-ending broccoli below us, smooth as a green ocean.
  • Yes, broccoli is as good for you as it's chopped up to be.
  • Using a paring knife, cut off and discard tough bottoms of broccoli stalks.
  • Try mild alfalfa and clover, more robust broccoli, and spicy radish and onion.
British Dictionary definitions for broccoli


a cultivated variety of cabbage, Brassica oleracea italica, having branched greenish flower heads
the flower head of this plant, eaten as a vegetable before the buds have opened
a variety of this plant that does not form a head, whose stalks are eaten as a vegetable
Word Origin
C17: from Italian, plural of broccolo a little sprout, from brocco sprout, spike; see brocade
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 broccoli

1690s, from Italian broccoli, plural of broccolo "a sprout, cabbage sprout," diminutive of brocco "shoot, protruding tooth, small nail" (see brocade (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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