veg·​an | \ ˈvē-gən How to pronounce vegan (audio) also ˈvā- How to pronounce vegan (audio) also ˈve-jən How to pronounce vegan (audio) or -ˌjan How to pronounce vegan (audio) \

Definition of vegan

: a strict vegetarian who consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals also : one who abstains from using animal products (such as leather)

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Other Words from vegan

vegan adjective
vegan desserts a vegan restaurant
veganism \ ˈvē-​gə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce veganism (audio) , ˈvā-​gə-​ How to pronounce veganism (audio) , ˈve-​jə-​ How to pronounce veganism (audio) \ noun

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 vegan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Mother has made greens for her son, a vegan, and roast chicken for her husband. New York Times, "Review: Police Violence Reaches Opera in ‘Blue’," 2 Aug. 2019 Pushkin’s caters to carnivores and vegans, offering separate menus for each. Los Angeles Times, "Pedal along the American River on a weekend trip to Sacramento," 18 July 2019 Compassionfest 2019, an annual gathering of vegans and animal enthusiasts, is about more than food. Tyra Mcclung,, "You don’t have to be vegan to go to Compassionfest 2019, but expect to be surrounded," 16 July 2019 The 14-year-old started selling her vegan, natural candy in 2014. Andrea Perez Balderrama, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan teen’s sugar-free candy to hit Meijer shelves this month," 11 July 2019 Green Chef’s menus are carefully curated for special dietary preferences, including vegan, keto, vegetarian, omnivore, pescatarian, carnivore, gluten-free, paleo and more. Jean Chen Smith,, "Top 10 summer trends for 2019, from fashion to furniture," 1 July 2019 Her menu has broad dietary diversity: carnivore, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and pescatarian. Adrienne So, WIRED, "Don't Head into the Remote Wilderness Without This Gear," 24 June 2019 Sally Beauty has added its own private brand of hair color and products from new independent brands such as Good Dye Young, a vegan, cruelty-free color line co-created by Grammy Award winner Hayley Williams and stylist Brian O'Connor. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Shares of Denton-based Sally Beauty slide as Amazon targets its professional salon customers," 24 June 2019 The fast-casual restaurant serves health-conscious Mexican food, including options for vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian and keto diners. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "Pizza, tacos, beer and churros: 17 new restaurants opened in metro Phoenix in May," 4 June 2019

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

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vegan

by contraction from vegetarian entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near vegan


Vega Alta

Vega Baja




vegetable bezoar

Statistics for vegan

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for vegan

The first known use of vegan was in 1944

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English Language Learners Definition of vegan

: a person who does not eat any food that comes from animals and who often also does not use animal products (such as leather)


veg·​an | \ ˈvē-gən; ˈvej-ən How to pronounce vegan (audio) , -ˌan How to pronounce vegan (audio) \

Medical Definition of vegan

: a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products

Other Words from vegan

vegan adjective
veganism \ ˈvē-​gə-​ˌniz-​əm How to pronounce veganism (audio) , ˈvej-​ə-​ How to pronounce veganism (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on vegan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vegan

Spanish Central: Translation of vegan

Britannica English: Translation of vegan for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about vegan

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a period when something is suspended

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