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[kaw-luh-flou-er, -lee-, kol-uh-, kol-ee-] /ˈkɔ ləˌflaʊ ər, -li-, ˈkɒl ə-, ˈkɒl i-/
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.
Origin of cauliflower
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. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for cauliflower


a variety of cabbage, Brassica oleracea botrytis, having a large edible head of crowded white flowers on a very short thick stem
the flower head of this plant, used as a vegetable
Word Origin
C16: from Italian caoli fiori, literally: cabbage flowers, from cavolo cabbage (from Latin caulis) + fiore flower (from Latin flōs)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cauliflower

1590s, originally cole florye, from Italian cavoli fiori "flowered cabbage," plural of cavolo "cabbage" + fiore "flower" (from Latin flora; see flora).

First element is from Latin caulis "cabbage" (originally "stem, stalk") which was borrowed into Germanic and is the source of cole in cole-slaw and of Scottish kale. The front end of the word was re-Latinized from 18c.; the back end was influenced by flower (n.). The boxer's cauliflower ear is from 1907.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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