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[sel-uh-ree, sel-ree] /ˈsɛl ə ri, ˈsɛl ri/
a plant, Apium graveolens, of the parsley family, whose leafstalks are eaten raw or cooked.
Origin of celery
1655-65; < French céleri < Italian seleri, plural of seleroGreek sélinon parsley
Can be confused
celery, salary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for celery
  • Mountain gorillas eat mostly herbs-wild celery, nettles, bedstraw.
  • Half of the participants were also shown an obviously healthful side dish, such as three sticks of celery.
  • In other words, they could not distinguish a carrot from a stick of celery, but could say that it was a vegetable.
  • He bought a head of celery and, for good measure, some ducks' feet to use in making stock.
  • But packaged carrots and celery, both organic, were flavorless.
  • Drain the beans and place in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat with the chopped carrot and celery.
  • celery and cauliflower production have also increased the number of reliable jobs.
  • Spread on crackers, slathered on celery, melted with chocolate: peanut butter goes with almost anything.
  • The distinctive flavor of both is due to the wild celery on which they feed.
  • She leaned slightly toward him and looked modestly at the celery before her.
British Dictionary definitions for celery


an umbelliferous Eurasian plant, Apium graveolens dulce, whose blanched leafstalks are used in salads or cooked as a vegetable See also celeriac
wild celery, a related and similar plant, Apium graveolens
Word Origin
C17: from French céleri, from Italian (Lombardy) dialect selleri (plural), from Greek selinon parsley
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 celery

1660s, from French céleri (17c., originally sceleri d'Italie), said by French sources to be from Italian (Lombard dialect) seleri (singular selero), from Late Latin selinon, from Greek selinon "parsley," of uncertain origin.

[O]ne day, in a weak and hungry moment, my roommate and I succumbed to a bit of larceny. A greengrocer's truck had parked down the street and was left unattended. We grabbed the first crate we could off the back. It turned out to be celery. For two days we ate nothing but celery and used up more calories chewing than we realized in energy. "Damn it," I said to my roommate, "What're we going to do? We can't starve." "That's funny," he replied. "I thought we could." [Chuck Jones, "Chuck Amuck," 1989]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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