veg·​an ˈvē-gən How to pronounce vegan (audio)
ˈvā- How to pronounce vegan (audio)
ˈve-jən How to pronounce vegan (audio)
-ˌjan How to pronounce vegan (audio)
: 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)
vegan adjective
vegan desserts
a vegan restaurant

Did you know?

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 Other offerings for the day: panel discussions talking about vegan business ownership, vegan recipes and impact of animal rescues. The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2024 Flora Plant Kitchen will also offer juices, smoothies and vegan cocktails as well as wine, local beer and special concoctions like the golden turmeric latte with turmeric root, dates, cardamom, ashwagandha (evergreen shrub), vanilla bean and black pepper. Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, 8 Apr. 2024 Her Max Libido Booster Her Max is an exceptional vegan libido supplement that is free of gluten. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 Apr. 2024 On sale for up to 41 percent off right now, the Hunter Play Short Boots are made of 100 percent waterproof vegan rubber and are lined with recycled polyester. Olivia Young, Travel + Leisure, 5 Apr. 2024 Temple to vegan cuisine is once:once, where Asian and Mexican fusion are strong on the menu in the patio garden as is panache and conscience. Claire Boobbyer, Condé Nast Traveler, 4 Apr. 2024 Last year, Silverstone appeared on The Ellen Fisher Podcast to talk about her life as a vegan and what goes into raising healthy kids. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 4 Apr. 2024 Deer Run even serves a vegan breakfast, so no worries for those with dietary requirements. Caroline Rogers, Southern Living, 2 Apr. 2024 His vegetarian daughter once took him to a vegan restaurant where Joo tried soy meat for the first time. Min Joo Kim, Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vegan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


by contraction from vegetarian entry 1

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vegan was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near vegan

Cite this Entry

“Vegan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


veg·​an ˈvē-gən How to pronounce vegan (audio)
: a strict vegetarian who does not use animals or dairy products for food
vegan adjective
veganism noun

Medical Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on vegan

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