parsnip

noun
pars·​nip | \ˈpär-snəp \

Definition of parsnip 

: a Eurasian biennial herb (Pastinaca sativa) of the carrot family with large pinnate leaves and yellow flowers that is cultivated for its long tapered whitish root which is cooked as a vegetable also : the root

Illustration of parsnip

Illustration of parsnip

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

The word parsnip was borrowed into Middle English in the 14th century as a modification of the Old French word pasnaie, itself derived from the Latin noun pastinaca, meaning "parsnip" or "carrot." The scientific name for the parsnip, "Pastinaca sativa," still reflects this history. "Pastinaca," in turn, traces back to "pastinum," a Latin word for a small gardening tool used to make holes in the ground for the insertion of plants, seeds, or bulbs. "Parsnip" may also remind you of the name of another edible root, "turnip," and there's a possible explanation for the resemblance. The Middle English spelling of "parsnip" ("passenep") may have been influenced by "nepe," the old form of "turnip."

Examples of parsnip in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Common culprits behind this reaction include citrus fruits (limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit), celery, carrots, wild parsnip, dill, and parsley, as well as fig and fig leaves. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Beware of Phytophotodermatitis, The Weird Sun Reaction That Could Definitely Ruin Your Summer," 18 Aug. 2018 Add carrots, fennel and parsnip and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Tiffani Thiessen, Good Housekeeping, "Creamy Chicken Potpies," 9 Oct. 2018 However, Steingold’s latkes—crisp circles stuffed with potato and the nutty sweetness of parsnip—make a good case as a roe delivery mechanism too. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "Steingold's is the Jewish deli of the future," 3 Dec. 2017 Accompanying the meat were vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, fingerling potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli rabe. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Enzo's Hideaway offers Italian fare paired with prohibition-style cocktails," 14 July 2018 Parsnips As with carrots, parsnips are a root vegetable designed to withstand cold, dry winters. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Store Pretty Much Any Kind of Produce," 25 June 2018 In all Bay Area microclimates, carrot, beet, turnip, rutabaga and parsnip can be planted in late winter through spring and again in late summer. Pam Peirce, SFChronicle.com, "How Bay Area gardeners can grow their own soup," 1 June 2018 Recipe: Darina’s Shepherd’s Pie And to drink ... The combination of braised duck, potatoes and parsnips calls for a hearty red wine that nonetheless is well structured but not oaky. David Tanis, New York Times, "A Take on Shepherd’s Pie, Straight From the Farm," 9 Mar. 2018 Now's the time to go, while flourishes of spring produce—asparagus, green garlic, English peas—still bump against sunchokes, turnips, and parsnips on the menu. Brad Rickman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Charleston in June 2018," 31 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for parsnip

Middle English passenep, modification of Old French pasnaie, from Latin pastinaca, from pastinum 2-pronged dibble

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about parsnip

Listen to Our Podcast about parsnip

Statistics for parsnip

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parsnip

The first known use of parsnip was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for parsnip

parsnip

noun

English Language Learners Definition of parsnip

: a vegetable that is the long white root of a plant related to the carrot

parsnip

noun
pars·​nip | \ˈpär-snəp \

Kids Definition of parsnip

: the long white root of a garden plant that is cooked as a vegetable

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on parsnip

Spanish Central: Translation of parsnip

Nglish: Translation of parsnip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of parsnip for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about parsnip

Comments on parsnip

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

WORD OF THE DAY

amusing and light sparring with words

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!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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