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)
veganadjective vegan desserts a vegan restaurant
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.
Origin and Etymology of vegan
by contraction from 1vegetarian
First Known Use: 1944
VEGAN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vegan for English Language Learners
: a person who does not eat any food that comes from animals and who often also does not use animal products (such as leather)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up vegan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).