cucumber

cucumber

[kyoo-kuhm-ber]
noun
1.
a creeping plant, Cucumis sativus, of the gourd family, occurring in many cultivated forms.
2.
the edible, fleshy fruit of this plant, of a cylindrical shape with rounded ends and having a green, warty skin.
3.
any of various allied or similar plants.
4.
the fruit of any such plant.

Origin:
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

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Collins
World English Dictionary
cucumber (ˈkjuːˌkʌmbə)
 
n
1.  Compare squirting cucumber a creeping cucurbitaceous plant, Cucumis sativus, cultivated in many forms for its edible fruit
2.  the cylindrical fruit of this plant, which has hard thin green rind and white crisp flesh
3.  any of various similar or related plants or their fruits
4.  cool as a cucumber very calm; self-possessed
 
[C14: from Latin cucumis, of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cucumber
late 14c., from O.Fr. cocombre, from L. cucumis (acc. cucumerem), perhaps from a pre-Italic Mediterranean language. Replaced O.E. eorþæppla (pl.), lit. "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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

cucumber

see cool as a cucumber.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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