broc·​co·​li | \ ˈbrä-kə-lē How to pronounce broccoli (audio) , ˈbrä-klē \

Definition of broccoli

1 chiefly British : a large hardy cauliflower
2a : either of two garden vegetable plants closely related to the cabbage:
(1) : one with a thick central stem and a compact head of dense usually green florets that is classified with the cauliflower
(2) : one (Brassica oleracea italica) with slender stems and usually green or purple florets not arranged in a central head
b : the stems and immature florets of broccoli used as food

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Did You Know?

A fast-growing, upright, branched, annual plant, broccoli bears dense green clusters of edible flower buds. Native to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, it was introduced to the US probably in colonial times. Broccoli thrives in moderate to cool climates. Its flavor resembles that of cabbage but is somewhat milder. It is one of the most broadly nutritious of all common vegetables and is a plant that is closely related to cabbage in the mustard family.

Examples of broccoli in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sellers of fresh food also rely on plastic film—used to wrap cucumber and broccoli—and thin plastic bags for loose items, that often can’t be recycled. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Nestlé Tries to Tackle Big Food’s Plastic Problem," 16 Jan. 2020 For example, serve broccoli steamed, raw, in a casserole and roasted. Alison Sherwood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How to encourage your children to eat better, try new foods and behave at meals," 15 Jan. 2020 There’s a tool for each in this handy set, which may inspire you to expand your vegetable preparation beyond the mashed potato and roasted chunks of root veggies and broccoli (though those are excellent methods too). Popular Science, "Five kitchen essentials for a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle," 27 Dec. 2019 Environmental groups have since pushed Cuomo to act to ban the pesticide, chlorpyrifos, used on golf courses and crops including corn, soybeans and broccoli. USA TODAY, "Duck seeking duck, forest ornaments, Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding: News from around our 50 states," 13 Dec. 2019 While chicken broils, in a large bowl, toss broccoli with chili paste and oil. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Roasted Chile Lime Chicken Legs," 10 Dec. 2019 His company makes a product that extends the shelf life of all sorts of produce — avocados, cherries, pears, broccoli — by slowing the chemical process that causes decay. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz,, "Bananas that last forever? Extending shelf life is a key weapon in the battle against food waste, and one Chicago startup is on the front lines.," 27 Nov. 2019 The voracious pest mainly feeds on cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower and brussels sprouts, a diet that could have devastating consequences in a region responsible for 70 percent of Mexico’s broccoli production. Andrea Michelson, Smithsonian, "Tiny Parasitic Wasp Named After Idris Elba Hijacks Stink Bug Eggs," 21 Nov. 2019 Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli Gimme Delicious Food crafted this teriyaki chicken and broccoli bowl, which takes less than 20 minutes to cook. Blake Bakkila,, "9 Meal Prep Ideas for the Week That Are Super Popular on Pinterest," 1 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'broccoli.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of broccoli

1699, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for broccoli

Italian, plural of broccolo flowering top of a cabbage, diminutive of brocco small nail, sprout

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Time Traveler for broccoli

Time Traveler

The first known use of broccoli was in 1699

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Statistics for broccoli

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Broccoli.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for broccoli


broc·​co·​li | \ ˈbrä-kə-lē How to pronounce broccoli (audio) , ˈbrä-klē \

Kids Definition of broccoli

: a vegetable that has green stalks and green or purplish clustered flower buds

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More from Merriam-Webster on broccoli

Spanish Central: Translation of broccoli

Nglish: Translation of broccoli for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of broccoli for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about broccoli

Comments on broccoli

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to express in a more acceptable way

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