as·​par·​a·​gus | \ə-ˈsper-ə-gəs, -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 veggies like asparagus and broccoli to the sheet, and they'll be done at the same time. Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Picking Out and Preparing Fish," 19 Sep. 2018 Fold in peas, asparagus and reserved vegetable-bacon mixture. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "Got Leftover Rice? Make This Delicious Dish," 20 July 2018 Add the spring onion bottoms and garlic once the mushrooms are browned, followed by the asparagus and snap peas. Chris Morocco, Bon Appetit, "Make This Miso Polenta with Your First Spring Farmers' Market Haul," 25 Apr. 2018 In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to taste. Gina Homolka And Heather K. Jones, Woman's Day, "Pesce Primavera," 19 Sep. 2018 Cramped beds: Small square foot garden beds aren’t ideal for crops that take up a lot of room, such as vining winter squash, asparagus, or a big planting of sweet corn. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "The Pros and Cons of Square Foot Gardening," 30 July 2018 Even though asparagus is readily available all year long, the height of the season is now, early spring. Alex Hitz, House Beautiful, "Asparagus Soup with Perfect Sea Scallops from Alex Hitz," 14 Mar. 2014 That included local organic saddle of lamb with asparagus and Jersey Royal potatoes, and a dessert trio that celebrated that most British of puddings, sherry trifle. Sheryl Julian,, "Say ‘I do’ to some classic British recipes," 17 May 2018 More balanced was my companion’s small plate of insalata di mare, with asparagus and mixed shellfish, including crab, mussels, shrimp and calamari. Kate Washington, sacbee, "If Allora can learn to relax a little, it will be one of the city's best restaurants | The Sacramento Bee," 11 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about asparagus

Statistics for asparagus

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for asparagus

The first known use of asparagus was in 1543

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for asparagus



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 \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on asparagus

Spanish Central: Translation of asparagus

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

Comments on asparagus

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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