cabbagelike, adj.
/kab"ij/, n.
1. any of several cultivated varieties of a plant, Brassica oleracea capitata, of the mustard family, having a short stem and leaves formed into a compact, edible head.
2. the head or leaves of this plant, eaten cooked or raw.
3. Slang. money, esp. paper money.
4. Chiefly Brit. Informal.
a. a stupid, dull, or spiritless person.
b. a mentally impaired person who is unable to live independently; vegetable.
[1350-1400; ME caboche, caboge, cabage head of cabbage < dial. OF (Picardy, Normandy) lit., head, noggin, equiv. to ca- formative in expressive words, of uncert. orig. + boche; see BOSS2, BOTCH2]
/kab"ij/, n., v., cabbaged, cabbaging.
1. Chiefly Brit.
a. cloth scraps that remain after a garment has been cut from a fabric and that by custom the tailor may claim.
b. Also called cab. such scraps used for reprocessing.
v.t., v.i.
2. to steal; pilfer: He cabbaged whole yards of cloth.
[1615-25; earlier carbage shred, piece of cloth, appar. var. of GARBAGE wheat straw chopped small (obs. sense)]

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Leafy garden plant (Brassica oleracea, Capitata group) of European origin, with a short stem and a globular head of usually green leaves.

A member of the mustard family, it is a major table vegetable in most countries of the temperate zone. The term cabbage also refers more generally to a vegetable and fodder plant of various horticultural forms developed by long cultivation from the wild, or sea, cabbage (B. oleracea) found near the seacoast in England and continental Europe. The common forms may be classified by the plant parts used for food: leaves (e.g., kale, collard, common cabbage, Brussels sprout); flowers and flower stalks (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower); and stems (e.g., kohlrabi). Cabbages grow best in mild to cool climates and tolerate frost. Edible portions are low in caloric value and are an excellent source of vitamin C, minerals, and dietary fibre. See also Chinese cabbage.

Head cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata).

Derek Fell
(as used in expressions)

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 vegetable and fodder plant the various forms of which are said to have been developed by long cultivation from the wild, or sea, cabbage (Brassica oleracea) found near the seacoast in various parts of England and continental Europe. The common horticultural forms of Brassica oleracea may be classified according to the plant parts used for food and the structure or arrangement of those parts: (1) leaves: loose or open foliage ( kale and collards (collard)) and leaves folded into compact heads (large terminal heads—e.g., common cabbage and savoy cabbage—and small axillary heads—e.g., Brussels sprouts); (2) flowers and thickened flower stalks: flowers little or not modified (sprouting broccoli) and flowers much thickened and modified (cauliflower and heading broccoli); (3) stem: much expanded to a bulbous structure ( kohlrabi).

      All these forms of cabbage have succulent leaves free of hairs and covered with a waxy coating; in most of them the waxy coat gives the leaf surface a gray-green or blue-green colour. These plants grow best in mild to cool climates and tolerate frost, and some of them tolerate hard freezing at certain periods of growth. Hot weather impairs the growth and quality of all of them. Edible portions of these plants are low in caloric value. They are an excellent source of ascorbic acid and also supply minerals and necessary bulk in the diet. See also broccoli; Brussels sprouts; cauliflower; collard; kale; kohlrabi.

      Head cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) is by far the most important form. Hard-headed cabbage is a new crop plant that was developed in northern Europe during the European Middle Ages. Soft-headed cabbages such as the savoy type are believed to have originated earlier in southern Europe. Head cabbage, generally designated simply cabbage, is a major table vegetable in most countries of the temperate zone. Cole slaw, a salad of grated cabbage, originated in Holland and is extremely popular in the United States. Cabbage soup is a traditional country dish throughout Europe.

      The heads of horticultural varieties of head cabbage range in shape from pointed, through globular, to flat; from soft to hard in structure; through various shades of green, gray-green, and magenta or red; and from less than 1 kg to more than 3 kg (2 to 7 pounds) in weight. They also are suitable for different uses. The less-hard varieties must be used more or less promptly after harvest for salads, in cookery, or for the manufacture of sauerkraut; (sauerkraut) the very hard, late-maturing Danish type is suited to winter storage.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Cabbage — Cab bage, v. i. To form a head like that the cabbage; as, to make lettuce cabbage. Johnson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cabbage — (n.) mid 15c., caboge, from M.Fr. caboche head (in the Channel Islands, cabbage ), from O.Fr. caboce head, from L. caput head (see HEAD (Cf. head) (n.)). Introduced to Canada 1541 by Jacques Cartier on his third voyage. First written record of it …   Etymology dictionary

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