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[kyoo-kuhm-ber] /ˈkyu kʌm bər/
a creeping plant, Cucumis sativus, of the gourd family, occurring in many cultivated forms.
the edible, fleshy fruit of this plant, of a cylindrical shape with rounded ends and having a green, warty skin.
any of various allied or similar plants.
the fruit of any such plant.
Origin of cucumber
1350-1400; Middle English cucumbre < Anglo-French, Old French co(u)combre < Latin cucumer-, stem of cucumis; replacing Middle English, Old English cucumer < Latin, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for cucumber


a creeping cucurbitaceous plant, Cucumis sativus, cultivated in many forms for its edible fruit Compare squirting cucumber
the cylindrical fruit of this plant, which has hard thin green rind and white crisp flesh
any of various similar or related plants or their fruits
cool as a cucumber, very calm; self-possessed
Word Origin
C14: from Latin cucumis, of unknown origin
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 cucumber

late 14c., from Old French cocombre (13c., Modern French concombre), from Latin cucumerem (nominative cucumis), perhaps from a pre-Italic Mediterranean language. The Latin word also is the source of Italian cocomero, Spanish cohombro, Portuguese cogombro. Replaced Old English eorþæppla (plural), literally "earth-apples."

Cowcumber was common form 17c.-18c., and that pronunciation lingered into 19c. Planted as a garden vegetable by 1609 by Jamestown colonists. Phrase cool as a cucumber (c.1732) embodies ancient folk knowledge confirmed by science in 1970: inside of a field cucumber on a warm day is 20 degrees cooler than the air temperature.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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