aru·​gu·​la ə-ˈrü-gə-lə How to pronounce arugula (audio)
: a yellowish-flowered Mediterranean herb (Eruca vesicaria sativa) of the mustard family cultivated for its foliage which is used especially in salads

called also garden rocket, rocket, roquette, rugola

Examples of arugula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In their place, cool-season foods like leafy greens—arugula, lettuce, kale, swiss chard—still grow, shaded from the intense sunlight up here. WIRED, 2 Nov. 2023 Toss arugula with lemon zest, the remaining teaspoon of oil, salt and pepper. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Oct. 2023 Peppery arugula and sweet watermelon complement each other perfectly. Mary Shannon Wells, Southern Living, 3 Oct. 2023 Think about deep green leaves of kale, vibrant Brussels sprouts, spicy arugula, and creamy pumpkin. Marissa Wu, Southern Living, 25 Sep. 2023 Hemp purée is an earthy base while arugula oil adds both freshness and richness. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, 31 Aug. 2023 The night before heading out of town, Irene Shiang Li stares down the bag of unused arugula in her near-empty fridge in Boston. Charlotte Druckman, Washington Post, 28 July 2023 Now that he’s learned his way around the basics and the Ooni itself, Nick wows our dinner guests with prosciutto and hot honey or fig and arugula or mushroom and pepperoni pies. Sunshine Flint,, 26 Sep. 2023 Choose heartier greens: Delicate salad greens, such as spinach and arugula, can easily get damaged in transit if not packed properly. Aaron Hutcherson, Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arugula.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Italian, probably from a southern dialectal form of Tuscan ruca, rucola, as Neapolitan arucola, arucolo, with English spelling -gu- reflecting lenis articulation of consonants and reduction of vowels — more at rocket entry 1

Note: For similar reflection in English spelling of southern Italian articulation compare agita, goombah. Forms with the initial ēr- of the Latin etymon ērūca "arugula, Eruca vesicaria" opened to ar- are widespread in Italian dialects—see Lessico etimologico italiano, letter E, columns 733-34.

First Known Use

1960, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of arugula was in 1960

Dictionary Entries Near arugula

Cite this Entry

“Arugula.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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