[kaw-luh-flou-er, -lee-, kol-uh-, kol-ee-]
a form of cultivated plant, Brassica oleracea botrytis, of the mustard family, whose inflorescence forms a compact, usually whitish head. Compare broccoli.
this head, used as a vegetable.

1590–1600; < Latin cauli(s) cole + flower; replacing coleflorie < Italian ca(v)olfiore, equivalent to cavol cole + fiore < Latin flōri- (stem of flōs) flower Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cauliflower (ˈkɒlɪˌflaʊə)
1.  a variety of cabbage, Brassica oleracea botrytis, having a large edible head of crowded white flowers on a very short thick stem
2.  the flower head of this plant, used as a vegetable
[C16: from Italian caoli fiori, literally: cabbage flowers, from cavolo cabbage (from Latin caulis) + fiore flower (from Latin flōs)]

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

1597, originally cole florye, from It. cavoli fiori "flowered cabbage," pl. of cavolo "cabbage" + fiore "flower" (from L. flora, q.v.). First element from L. caulis "cabbage," borrowed into Gmc. and source of cole in cole slaw and of Scot. kale. The front end of the word was re-Latinized. The boxer's
cauliflower ear is from 1907.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Kristina gets bonus geek points for putting a fractal cauliflower on her album
But that did not stop an ill-tempered debate over lunch of poached organic
  salmon and roasted cauliflower.
Take a look at the ears of anybody involved in any type of wrestling or
  grappling sport, ie the cauliflower ear.
Kraft is sneaking freeze-dried cauliflower powder into its macaroni and cheese.
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