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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vegan

vegan adjective
vegan desserts a vegan restaurant
veganism \ ˈvē-​gə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce vegan (audio) also  ˈvā-​gə-​ How to pronounce vegan (audio) or  ˈve-​jə-​ How to pronounce vegan (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 Among those options are a variety of salads, including a vegan-friendly Southwest Black Bean, and a mahi-mahi fish sandwich on a gluten-free bun, Cadey said. Mike Danahey,, 3 July 2021 Treslúce Beauty products are also made with vegan-friendly ingredients and are ophthalmologist tested. Morgan Smith,, 23 June 2021 Some of the flavors at Pure Milk and Honey this summer include honey lavender and raspberry, which is vegan-friendly. Cristin Espinosa, Dallas News, 22 June 2021 Tocaya Organica, a 5-year-old L.A.-based organic vegan-friendly modern Mexican restaurant chain, has reopened its 3-year-old Westfield UTC location at 4301 La Jolla Village Drive, #2003, in San Diego. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 June 2021 The new RxBar Plant bars are vegan-friendly and available in two flavors: chocolate chip and peanut butter. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 3 June 2021 Toasting the couscous gives it a nutty flavor and chewy texture in this light, fresh, vegan-friendly salad. Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 That includes adding more vegan/dairy-free ice cream options and a new ice cream cake made with ice cream and traditional cake., 20 May 2021 The newest addition to the cost-saving lineup is this vegan dry shampoo that gives oily hair a fresh look and feel. Jennifer Ford, Forbes, 5 May 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of vegan

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vegan

by contraction from vegetarian entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best air fryers of 2021.

Learn More About vegan

Dictionary Entries Near vegan

Vega Baja



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for vegan

Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vegan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vegan



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 vegan (audio) , ˈvej-​ə-​ How to pronounce vegan (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on vegan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vegan

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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