from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A Mediterranean thistlelike plant (Cynara scolymus) in the composite family, having pinnately divided leaves and large discoid heads of bluish flowers.
  • noun The edible, immature flower head of this plant.
  • noun The Jerusalem artichoke.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) The Cynara scolymus, a plant somewhat resembling a thistle, with a dilated, imbricated, and prickly involucre. The head (to which the name is also applied) is composed of numerous oval scales, inclosing the florets, sitting on a broad receptacle, which, with the fleshy base of the scales, is much esteemed as an article of food.
  • noun See Jerusalem artichoke.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An plant related to the thistle with enlarged flower heads eaten as a vegetable while immature.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun Mediterranean thistlelike plant widely cultivated for its large edible flower head
  • noun a thistlelike flower head with edible fleshy leaves and heart


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Northern Italian dialectal articiocco, from Old Spanish alcarchofa, from Arabic al-ḫaršuf : al-, the + ḫuršūf, ḫaršūf, artichoke (perhaps from Middle Persian *xār-čōb, literally, thorn-stick : xār, thorn; akin to Sanskrit khara-, rough, sharp + čōb, stick).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From northern Italian dialectal articiocco, alteration of arcicioffo (possibly influenced by ciocco ("stump"), from Old Spanish alcarchofa, from Arabic القرشوف (al-qaršūf, "artichoke").


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  • Dhalgren, anybody?

    September 15, 2007

  • I guess I read it too long ago. Can't remember anything except an elevator shaft event. Oog!

    September 15, 2007

  • i like to pronounce "artichoke" as "arty-choke-ee".

    May 14, 2008

  • Miss Ar-Ti-Cho-Kee!

    (Or you may prefer the Ukulele Orchestra's version.)

    May 14, 2008

  • We call them fartichokes in my house.

    May 14, 2008

  • Artichoke, a portmanteau of <i>heart</i> and <i>choke</i>, from the edible heart and inedible choke.

    February 28, 2020

  • that's not a real etymology of artichoke...

    February 29, 2020