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See also: Eruca



Borrowed from Latin eruca, a caterpillar; also, a sort of colewort. Cf. also arugula, rocket.


eruca (plural erucae)

  1. (zoology) An insect in the larval state; a caterpillar; a larva.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for eruca in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



From Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰer(s)-uk-eh₂[1], from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰers- (to bristle), see also Welsh garw (rough), Latin ēr (hedgehog), Avestan 𐬰𐬀𐬭𐬱𐬀𐬌𐬌𐬀𐬨𐬥𐬀(zaršaiiamna, ruffling one's feathers), Sanskrit हर्षते (harṣate, bristles).

Latin erūca and its variant urūca denote the plant and the caterpillar. In such cases, usually the animal name is primary and has been extended to the plant (so the rocket can be interpreted as “caterpillar plant”).[2]



ērūca f (genitive ērūcae); first declension

  1. caterpillar
  2. colewort, rocket


First declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative ērūca ērūcae
Genitive ērūcae ērūcārum
Dative ērūcae ērūcīs
Accusative ērūcam ērūcās
Ablative ērūcā ērūcīs
Vocative ērūca ērūcae


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of English, 3rd ed. (2010)
  2. ^ “eruca” in: Alberto Nocentini, Alessandro Parenti, “l'Etimologico — Vocabolario della lingua italiana”, Le Monnier, 2010, →ISBN