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 For brunch, enjoy an asparagus-goat cheese egg bake served with bacon, breakfast potatoes and a green salad ($42 serves two, $80 serves four). Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "These Twin Cities restaurants are offering Christmas takeout meals," 7 Dec. 2020 Add garlic and cook until just starting to turn golden brown, then add peas, mushrooms, asparagus, and beans, season with ¼ tsp salt, and cook, tossing, 2 minutes; transfer to plate to cool. Chris Williams, Woman's Day, "Green Bean and Asparagus Casserole," 20 Jan. 2021 Eight ounces each of king crab and American Wagyu tataki come with a charcuterie and cheese spread, cacio e pepe pasta, white asparagus with black truffle hollandaise, and an assortment of desserts. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "25 Twin Cities restaurants offering takeout meals for New Year's Eve," 22 Dec. 2020 Seasonal workers who packed asparagus at a west Michigan farm initially chalked up their exhaustion, dizziness and headaches to the demands of working 13 hour-shifts seven days a week., "In one Michigan county, almost half the COVID-19 cases are tied to farm outbreaks," 22 Sep. 2020 Prosciutto also forms a delicious salty contrast to fresh vegetables or fruits when wrapped around lightly cooked but firm asparagus spears or chunks of fresh cantaloupe or honeydew melon. Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Serve up a simple New Year’s Eve family celebration," 30 Dec. 2020 Trefethen Prime red blend wine and fingerling potatoes and asparagus as sides as well as a choice of sauces including Zip sauce. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Where to order special New Year's brunch or dinner packages to-go," 28 Dec. 2020 Brunch features Lobster Newburg a la King with asparagus salad and vanilla chestnut coffee cake ($75). Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "25 Twin Cities restaurants offering takeout meals for New Year's Eve," 22 Dec. 2020 At a time when the country was swooning over Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer and the Birds Eye frozen asparagus spear, Beard encouraged Americans to find glory in simplicity. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "The Tangled Legacy of James Beard," 4 Dec. 2020

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

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The first known use of asparagus was in 1543

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Asparagus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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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 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

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