parsnip

noun
pars·​nip | \ ˈpär-snəp How to pronounce parsnip (audio) \

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

Beginning in 1876, Reavis lived on his ranch in the Superstitions, growing cabbages, parsnips and potatoes — with an apple orchard that still exists today. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "As Woodbury Fire burns, crews fight to save ancient Mother Tree in the Superstitions," 22 June 2019 At a recent chef’s dinner at Rebar, Mereday served roasted sea bass laid over tiny black lentils and silky parsnip puree in a pool of intense duck broth reduction. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "This new Italian restaurant in Indianapolis rises above spaghetti and meatballs," 17 June 2019 The biggest culprit are citrus fruits — especially limes, said Zeichner — but other plants, like lemons, celery, wild parsnip, parsley and hogweed also contain furocoumarins. Htv National Desk, Houston Chronicle, "Woman’s blistering 'margarita burn' a warning about the popular summer drink," 5 June 2019 The company's website is chock-full of guides and videos on saving seeds, hand-pollinating, caring for and amending soil, and growing huge versions of everything from beetroot to parsnips. Robin Tribble, Popular Mechanics, "How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin," 24 Jan. 2019 Lisa’s matzo ball soup was excellent, a minimalist version with curative chicken broth, parsnips and carrots, and a heavenly light orb of fluffy matzo meal. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Pastrami revival? Wave of delis open in South Florida, blending old and new," 11 July 2019 At a recent dinner, the lineup, which arrived in a painter’s palette of colors, included parsnip chips with honey ricotta, carrots in a pomegranate vinaigrette and pickled beets. Daliah Singer, The Know, "Restaurant review: At Spuntino, a meal is something to be savored and shared," 10 July 2019 Plants that do best directly seeded include carrots, parsnips, beets, radish, mustard greens, cilantro and arugula. oregonlive.com, "Plant these vegetables now for Oregon’s fall harvest," 8 July 2019 Some dads prefer parsnips to porterhouse and radicchio to rib-eye, and there's nothing wrong with that. Michael Schaub, latimes.com, "Last minute Father’s Day gifts for 7 different kinds of book-loving dads," 11 June 2019

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

12 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce parsnip (audio) \

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

to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!