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 Old World perennial plants of the lily family 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 Add shrimp and asparagus to the mixture and stir well to combine. Rebecca White, Dallas News, "Easy one-pan meals you can actually make on a weeknight," 12 Jan. 2020 Go for French grilled oysters, real Caesar salad, asparagus with hollandaise, a New York strip with béarnaise and a flaming bananas Foster, with one of the best wine lists and most professional waitstaffs in the city. Paul Stephen,, "The best San Antonio restaurants and bars to take your out-of-town guests over the holidays for a taste of puro San Antonio," 25 Nov. 2019 To add to the dilemma, trying to figure out what tools are necessary to take a carcass lying at the edge of a field all the way to a sizzling steak on a plate with a baked potato and asparagus can also be nearly overwhelming. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "10 Things You Need To Get Your Deer From The Woods To The Dinner Table," 11 Nov. 2019 Kale, green beans, asparagus ... cut it up and throw it all in there. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "What food do I make for a tailgate party? Louisville chefs share their best recipes," 21 Oct. 2019 Costa Rican pineapples are stacked next to Kenyan passion fruits and Peruvian asparagus. The Economist, "Greta Thunberg accuses rich countries of “creative carbon accounting”," 17 Oct. 2019 Thinner items like asparagus and green beans needed only trimming. NBC News, "How to blanch and roast vegetables," 17 Oct. 2019 My dad grew asparagus and broccoli for the farmers’ market. Nancy Ngo, Twin Cities, "Kitchen Q and A: seasonal menu updates, pop-ups ahead at Stewart’s," 8 Oct. 2019 Our favorites: ragù Bolognese on tagliatelle and sformato, an Italian soufflé-ish flan of eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, asparagus and béchamel. Ken Van Vechten, Los Angeles Times, "Enjoy the outdoor lifestyle on a weekend trip to Bend, Ore.," 3 Oct. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for asparagus

Time Traveler

The first known use of asparagus was in 1543

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Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Asparagus.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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How to pronounce asparagus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of asparagus

: a plant with long green stems and tiny leaves at one end that is cooked and eaten as a vegetable


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 of the lily family (Liliaceae) 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on asparagus

Spanish Central: Translation of asparagus

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

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What made you want to look up asparagus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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