flex·​i·​tar·​i·​an | \ ˌflek-sə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce flexitarian (audio) \

Definition of flexitarian

: one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from flexitarian

flexitarian adjective

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 In 2008, just 5% of Hong Kongers classified themselves as vegan or flexitarian, according to a Hong Kong Vegetarian Society survey. Time, "How China Could Change the World By Taking Meat Off the Menu," 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, "'Conscious Eater' author spells out ways to dine on healthy, environmentally friendly food," 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, "We’ll Always Eat Meat. But More of It Will Be ‘Meat’," 27 Sep. 2019 The Reducetarian umbrella covers a number of diets, including vegetarian, vegan, omnivore and flexitarian. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "Want to cut down on animal products but just can’t give up bacon? Reducetarians won’t judge.," 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, "Impossible Burger hits supermarkets, joining rival Beyond," 19 Sep. 2019 Some individuals classify themselves as part-time vegetarians, or flexitarians. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Black Bean and Corn Enchilada Casserole: Fiber rich and vegetarian," 7 Sep. 2019 Dear Heloise: My girlfriend is becoming a flexitarian. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: What’s a flexitarian?," 6 June 2019 An increasing number of flexitarians — people not looking to eat meat at every meal — are helping to drive interest, according to Rabobank. Lydia Mulvany, The Seattle Times, "Impossible Foods fights for FDA approval on its meatless burgers," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flexitarian.' 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 flexitarian

1998, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flexitarian

flexi(ble) + (vege)tarian entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flexitarian

Time Traveler for flexitarian

Time Traveler

The first known use of flexitarian was in 1998

See more words from the same year

Statistics for flexitarian

Cite this Entry

“Flexitarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flexitarian. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on flexitarian

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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