Definition of okra in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɒkrə//ˈəʊkrə/


mass noun
  • 1A plant of the mallow family with long ridged seed pods, native to the Old World tropics.

    Abelmoschus esculentus, family Malvaceae

    • ‘Several varieties of tomatoes, okra and peppers, among others, require long growing seasons.’
    • ‘The French and black Creoles taught the Cajuns how to grow cotton, sugarcane, and okra; they learned rice and soybean production from Anglo-Americans.’
    • ‘It's time to seed those crops that demand warm soil, including okra, Southern peas and Malabar spinach.’
    • ‘March begins the hectic planting of warm-season crops like beans, corn, cucumbers and melons, but wait until April to sow hot-weather crops like okra and southern peas.’
    • ‘April is a great time to plant peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, squash and heat-loving okra.’
    1. 1.1 The immature seed pods of the okra plant, eaten as a vegetable.
      Also called bhindi, gumbo, or ladies' fingers
      • ‘She was slumped on the table and was building a wall with her mashed potatoes so that her muffin wouldn't touch the okra.’
      • ‘This recipe calls for whole okra to be cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic and ground coriander and served with grilled aubergine.’
      • ‘Three to four plants produce more than enough okra for the average family.’
      • ‘A key ingredient in gumbo, okra is originally an African vegetable.’
      • ‘A side dish of Bendi - okra sautéed with onion, fresh tomatoes, black pepper and garlic - is a little bit similar to the flavour of the eggplant.’


Early 18th century: a West African word, perhaps from the root nkru; compare with nkran, the name of the town Europeanized as Accra.