adjective \ˈvej-tə-bəl, ˈve-jə-\

Definition of VEGETABLE

a :  of, relating to, constituting, or growing like plants
b :  consisting of plants :  vegetational
:  made from, obtained from, or containing plants or plant products <vegetable soup> <vegetable fat>
:  resembling or suggesting a plant (as in inertness or passivity)


Middle English, from Medieval Latin vegetabilis vegetative, from vegetare to grow, from Latin, to animate, from vegetus lively, from vegēre to enliven — more at wake
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Botany Terms

annual, burgeon, chloroplast, nomenclature, succulent, sylvan, xylem



Definition of VEGETABLE

:  plant 1b
:  a usually herbaceous plant (as the cabbage, bean, or potato) grown for an edible part that is usually eaten as part of a meal; also :  such an edible part
:  a person whose mental and physical functioning is severely impaired and especially one who requires supportive measures (as mechanical ventilation) to survive

Examples of VEGETABLE

  1. The doctor said I should eat more fruits and vegetables.
  2. a bowl of vegetable soup
  3. The accident had left him a vegetable.

First Known Use of VEGETABLE

15th century

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In the broadest sense, all plant life and plant products (vegetable matter); in common, narrow usage, the fresh edible portion of herbaceous plants (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, or fruit), either eaten fresh or prepared in some way. Almost all current vegetables were cultivated in ancient Old or New World civilizations, though some have been greatly modified. Vegetables are good sources of minerals (especially calcium and iron), vitamins (especially A and C), and dietary fiber. All the amino acids needed to synthesize protein are available in vegetables. Fresh vegetables quickly age and spoil, but their storage life can be extended by such preservation methods as dehydration, canning, freezing, fermenting, and pickling.


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