flex·​i·​tar·​i·​an ˌflek-sə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce flexitarian (audio)
: one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish
flexitarian adjective

Did you know?

The Difference Between Vegetarian, Vegan, and Other Diets

The word vegetarian sprouted up in 1839. Fruitarian ("a person who lives on fruit") ripened by 1893. In 1944, vegetarians who consume no animal or dairy products began calling themselves vegans. Then, in 1993, those who eat fish but no other meat chose pesce, the Italian word for "fish," to create the designation pescatarian. In that same year, meatatarian was served up as a word for those whose diet largely includes meat; that word is rare, however, and is usually used in informal and humorous ways, making it the type of fare not included in our dictionaries. Another fairly recent dietary word is flexitarian, a person who follows a mostly vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish.

Examples of flexitarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For this category, the popular WW (formely called Weight Watchers) plan tied with the flexitarian and Volumentrics diets for the No. 1 spot. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 4 Jan. 2022 In 2008, just 5% of Hong Kongers classified themselves as vegan or flexitarian, according to a Hong Kong Vegetarian Society survey. Time, 22 Jan. 2021 There’s a lot of good evidence to show that by far the most effective of 80 total solutions for reversing global warming, number three is reducing food waste and number four is plant rich diets, plant forward, plant centric, also called flexitarian. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Mar. 2020 Various studies point to health benefits of a flexitarian or vegan diet, while some research has linked red meat to heart disease and cancer. Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2019 The Reducetarian umbrella covers a number of diets, including vegetarian, vegan, omnivore and flexitarian. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2019 Foods customers also eat meat — an indication of how the popularity of the company’s products has been driven by a rise of flexitarians: people who are eating less meat without cutting it out completely. Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2019 Some individuals classify themselves as part-time vegetarians, or flexitarians. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, 7 Sep. 2019 Dear Heloise: My girlfriend is becoming a flexitarian. Washington Post, 6 June 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flexitarian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1998, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flexitarian was in 1998

Dictionary Entries Near flexitarian

Cite this Entry

“Flexitarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flexitarian. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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