broc·co·li | \ ˈbrä-kə-lē , 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

Since broccoli is a winter vegetable, it's built to withstand colder temperatures, and warmer temperatures can lead to its untimely demise. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Store Pretty Much Any Kind of Produce," 25 June 2018 And judging by the super-cute video the zoo posted Sunday on Facebook, Gordy is a fan of broccoli. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Awwww! Milwaukee zoo announces arrival of adorable baby groundhog. And he loves broccoli.," 24 June 2018 There was just a single vendor with a few heads of cauliflower and another with four lonely crowns of broccoli. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "What’s available now in San Antonio-area farmers markets and what to expect soon," 9 May 2018 The broccoli was crisp, and the chard—cousin of the collard green—was the beefier version of one of my favorite barbecue sides. Andy Staples,, "After Its NFL Draft Bounceback, the Big 12 Sees an Encouraging Path Forward," 30 Apr. 2018 Cover and microwave for 10 to 12 minutes, or until sauce has melted and broccoli is hot. Lisa Lillien,, "Hungry Girl: Add More Fiber to Your Day with This Simple Macaroni and Cheese Recipe," 26 Mar. 2018 The broccoli in this pasta sauce is a tasty and nutritious swap for the usual pesto herbs. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Fusilli with Broccoli Pesto," 23 Feb. 2018 Simmer until broccoli is tender and soup is thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Marian Cooper Cairns, Country Living, "Creamy Mac-and-Cheese Chicken Soup," 5 Feb. 2018 Cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Susan Spungen, Good Housekeeping, "Scrambled Egg Burrito," 4 Dec. 2017

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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Statistics for broccoli

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for broccoli

The first known use of broccoli was in 1699

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More Definitions for broccoli


broc·co·li | \ ˈbrä-kə-lē , 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

What made you want to look up broccoli? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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