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 Williams planned to work on her vegan and cruelty-free hair dye line, Good Dye Young, while York wanted to produce, and Farro aimed to focus on his band HalfNoise. Ilana Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, "The hard-won liberation of Hayley Williams: ‘It wasn’t beautiful. It was painful’," 7 May 2020 Here are 10 coffee shops, restaurants and cafes offering vegan and vegetarian dishes for takeout and delivery. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "10 metro Phoenix restaurants with vegan and vegetarian food and coffee for takeout," 1 Apr. 2020 The move by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for its Monday lunch follows a choice to go vegan by the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, Screen Actors Guild Awards and WME. Degen Pener, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscar Nominees Luncheon Serves Completely Plant-Based Menu," 27 Jan. 2020 Making the decision to go vegan can seem like a lonely and oftentimes confusing journey. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "These Dope Food Bloggers On Instagram Will Change Your Mind About Vegan Cuisine," 24 Jan. 2020 Aquafaba can be added to recipes unwhipped as an egg binder, such as in vegan baked goods! Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Goya Low-Sodium Chickpeas," 4 May 2020 Cullen wants to offer several different options daily, one of them vegetarian or vegan, because some people stop by every day. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Tandem restaurant in Milwaukee is giving away free meals to people in need during the coronavirus outbreak," 22 Mar. 2020 This bar serves a wide range of burgers, including tuna and vegan options. Richard Vines,, "The World’s Best Burgers as Picked by Stars of Gastronomy," 11 Feb. 2020 Some 1,000 New York City restaurants serve foie gras, and many of them are barely profitable in that notoriously dicey industry, but servers stand to lose their jobs to pacify a handful of militant vegans from Brooklyn. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Joker in New York City Hall," 1 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for vegan

Time Traveler

The first known use of vegan was in 1944

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Statistics for vegan

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vegan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for vegan


How to pronounce vegan (audio) How to pronounce vegan (audio) How to pronounce vegan (audio) How to pronounce vegan (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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