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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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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
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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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