cucumber


cucumber
/kyooh"kum beuhr/, n.
1. a creeping plant, Cucumis sativus, of the gourd family, occurring in many cultivated forms.
2. the edible, fleshy fruit of this plant, of a cylindrical shape with rounded ends and having a green, warty skin.
3. any of various allied or similar plants.
4. the fruit of any such plant.
[1350-1400; ME cucumbre < AF, OF co(u)combre < L cucumer-, s. of cucumis; r. ME, OE cucumer < L, as above]

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Creeping plant (Cucumis sativus), of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), or its oblong fruit, for which it is widely cultivated.

It probably originated in northern India. The plant is a tender annual with a rough, succulent, trailing stem and hairy leaves with pointed lobes; the stem bears branched tendrils by which the plant can suspend itself. The food value of the fruit is low, but its delicate flavour makes it a popular vegetable for salads and relishes.

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plant
 (Cucumis sativus), creeping plant of the Cucurbitaceae family, probably originating in northern India and widely cultivated for its fruit. It is a tender annual with a rough, succulent, trailing stem and hairy leaves with three to five pointed lobes; the stem bears branched tendrils by which the plant can be trained to supports.

      In northern Europe the cucumber is extensively grown in frames or on trellises in greenhouses; in the milder climate of the United States it is cultivated as a field crop and in home gardens. An excess of seed is sown, and the small plants are thinned to the number desired. The heat requirement is one of the highest among the common vegetables. There are three groups of varieties: the very large-fruited, strong-growing varieties adapted only to greenhouse or frame culture; the large-fruited, outdoor-grown plants generally having white spines, which are used primarily for slicing and pickling; and the small-fruited, prolific kinds with spines, including the gherkin, which are grown outdoors principally for pickling.

      The food value of the cucumber is low, but its delicate flavour makes it popular for salads and relishes. Fresh cucumbers should be firm, well-shaped, and bright green in colour. They may be kept in refrigerated storage for about two weeks.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cucumber — Cu cum*ber (k? k?m b?r, formerly kou k?m b?r), n. [OE. cucumer, cocumber, cucumber, fr. L. cucmis, gen.cucumeris; cf. OF. cocombre,F. concombre.] (Bot.) A creeping plant, and its fruit, of several species of the genus {Cucumis}, esp. {Cucumis… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cucumber — (n.) late 14c., from O.Fr. cocombre (13c., Mod.Fr. concombre), from L. cucumerem (nom. cucumis), perhaps from a pre Italic Mediterranean language. The Latin word also is the source of It. cocomero, Sp. cohombro, Port. cogombro. Replaced O.E.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cucumber — [kyo͞o′kum΄bər; ] occas [., kyo͞okəmbər] n. [ME cucomer < OFr or L; OFr cocombre < L cucumis (gen. cucumeris)] 1. a trailing annual vine (Cucumis sativus) of the gourd family, grown for its edible fruit 2. the long fruit, with a green rind… …   English World dictionary

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  • cucumber — n. 1) to peel; slice a cucumber 2) (misc.) as cool as a cucumber * * * [ kjuːkʌmbə] slice a cucumber (misc.) as cool asa cucumber to peel …   Combinatory dictionary

  • cucumber — [[t]kju͟ːkʌmbə(r)[/t]] cucumbers 1) N VAR A cucumber is a long thin vegetable with a hard green skin and wet transparent flesh. It is eaten raw in salads. 2) PHRASE (emphasis) If you say that someone is as cool as a cucumber, you are emphasizing… …   English dictionary

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