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
Recent Examples of asparagus from the Web
Served in a rich and creamy sauce infused with mushrooms and parmesan, the gnocchi were tender and complemented by the pop of fresh English peas and delicate asparagus.
After a private one-on-one meeting, the pair went to lunch with four senior officials, dining on Belgian asparagus, red mullet and meringue cake with strawberries.
Add the asparagus to the boiling water; cook/blanch for a minute or two, just until the vegetable pieces are a brighter green.
While many summery veggies, such as asparagus and sugar snap peas, are limited on this plan, zucchinis are well tolerated.
Stir in the asparagus, chives and sun flower seeds and mix well.
Combine the asparagus, peas, and radishes in a medium bowl.
Best of the bunch is the asparagus with brown sugar and cayenne pepper.
Or about his stunning asparagus, onion and lemon white pizza made with a fennel-herb spring cream.
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.
Origin and Etymology of asparagus
New Latin, genus name, from Latin, asparagus plant, from Greek asparagos; perhaps akin to Greek spargan to swell
First Known Use: 1543See Words from the same year
ASPARAGUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of asparagus for English Language Learners
: a plant with long green stems and tiny leaves at one end that is cooked and eaten as a vegetable
ASPARAGUS Defined for Kids
Definition of asparagus for Students
: a vegetable that is the young shoots of a garden plant related to the lilies that lives for many years
History for asparagus
The word asparagus is borrowed from the ancient Greeks' name for the plant, asparagos, which could also just refer to the young shoot of any plant. This word is probably related to a Greek verb spharageitai, meaning “it's full to bursting,” which might describe a fast-growing plant shoot. But to English speakers the word has sometimes seemed odd and a little difficult to say. In the American countryside people have turned asparagus into “aspergrass” or “aspirin grass” or—the most popular—“sparrow grass.” These expressions are easier to say and tickle our sense of humor a bit.
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 shootsb: the root of cultivated asparagus formerly used as a diuretic
Seen and Heard
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