veg·​an | \ˈvē-gən also ˈvā- also ˈve-jən or -ˌjan \

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, ˈvā-​gə-​, ˈve-​jə-​ \ 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

Plenty of vegetarians and vegans still wear leather accessories. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Is Faux Leather Even Better Than the Real Thing? These 3 Designers Say Yes," 8 Nov. 2018 That includes at least two hot meals a day, one cold meal, snacks, and vegan, kosher and other options for those with dietary restrictions. Jillian Kay Melchior, WSJ, "Is There a Crisis at the Border?," 5 Nov. 2018 While companies like Stella McCartney have always been vegan, others like Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors, and Erdem have pledged to go fur-free in the last year or so. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Every Major Fashion Brand That Has Banned Fur," 24 Oct. 2018 Bonus: Many of the dishes are gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, and absolutely just as delicious for it. Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "An all-you-can-eat secret at one of Seattle’s best restaurants: brunch at Joule," 16 Oct. 2018 In addition to the more traditional pockets stuffed with ground beef and rutabaga, this local bakery offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free alternatives. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Road Trip: 3 Days in Northern Michigan," 19 July 2018 French cuisine traditionally relies heavily on meat and dairy, and vegetarians and vegans make up a tiny minority of the population. Time, "French Butchers Want Protection From 'Militant' Vegans," 27 June 2018 Next up: Bolt’s latest innovation is Mylo, a vegan leather made from mushrooms. Lindsay Talbot, Marie Claire, "Your Everything Guide to a Sustainable Closet," 19 July 2018 Menus catering to vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free will be identifiable at the website. Lauren Delgado,, "Magical Dining Month menus for 2018 revealed," 12 July 2018

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

27 Nov 2018

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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, -ˌan \

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, ˈvej-​ə-​ \ 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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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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