- a form of a cultivated cruciferous plant, Brassica oleracea botrytis, whose leafy stalks and clusters of usually green buds are eaten as a vegetable.
- a cultivated variety of cabbage, Brassica oleracea italica, having branched greenish flower heads
- the flower head of this plant, eaten as a vegetable before the buds have opened
- a variety of this plant that does not form a head, whose stalks are eaten as a vegetable
1690s, from Italian broccoli, plural of broccolo “a sprout, cabbage sprout,” diminutive of brocco “shoot, protruding tooth, small nail” (see (n.)).