as·​par·​a·​gus | \ ə-ˈsper-ə-gəs How to pronounce asparagus (audio) , -ˈspa-rə- \
plural asparagus

Definition of asparagus

: any of a genus (Asparagus of the family Asparagaceae, the asparagus family) of Old World perennial plants having much-branched stems, minute scalelike leaves, and narrow usually filiform branchlets that function as leaves especially : one (A. officinalis) widely cultivated for its edible young shoots

Illustration of asparagus

Illustration of asparagus

Examples of asparagus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Skip the typical pancetta and prepare this Italian classic with asparagus and peas for an easy vegetarian pasta bowl. Katelyn Lunders, Woman's Day, 24 June 2022 The star of the show is a verdant Cobb salad that makes the most of the produce that is popping up in the markets, asparagus and sugar snap peas in particular. Katie Workman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Apr. 2022 In her first Slow Food Fast recipe, Ms. Talbott serves slow-roasted Steelhead trout over a heap of new potatoes, English peas, asparagus and leeks. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, 20 May 2021 Harvard points out that, gram-for-gram, chiles contain more vitamin A and C and calcium than asparagus, green peas or celery. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 3 May 2021 Just eat lots of green vegetables like spinach, collards, lettuce, mustard greens, kale, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green peas, green beans, green pepper, and celery. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 23 Apr. 2021 Generally, lamb is getting the main billing, with sides like asparagus and peas. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Mar. 2021 Great options include broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, carrots, green beans, snap peas, snow peas, corn and asparagus spears. Robin Miller, The Arizona Republic, 23 Aug. 2022 Bluefish that’s quickly cured and seared with a blowtorch, then served with a fruit and basil salad, cauliflower purée and a buttermilk whey and asparagus sauce. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 23 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asparagus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of asparagus

1543, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for asparagus

New Latin, genus name, from Latin, asparagus plant, from Greek asparagos; perhaps akin to Greek spargan to swell

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best gas grills.

Learn More About asparagus

Time Traveler for asparagus

Time Traveler

The first known use of asparagus was in 1543

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near asparagus



asparagus bean

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for asparagus

Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Asparagus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for asparagus


as·​par·​a·​gus | \ ə-ˈsper-ə-gəs How to pronounce asparagus (audio) \

Kids Definition of asparagus

: a vegetable that is the young shoots of a garden plant related to the lilies that lives for many years


as·​par·​a·​gus | \ ə-ˈspar-ə-gəs How to pronounce asparagus (audio) \

Medical Definition of asparagus

1 capitalized : a genus of Old World perennial herbs (family Asparagaceae) having erect much-branched stems, minute scalelike leaves, and narrow filiform branchlets that function as leaves
2a : any plant of the genus Asparagus especially : a plant (A. officinalis) widely cultivated for its tender edible young shoots
b : the root of cultivated asparagus formerly used as a diuretic

More from Merriam-Webster on asparagus

Nglish: Translation of asparagus for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about asparagus


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!