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 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 Environmentally conscious consumers like that Oatly is vegan, uses less land, and produces fewer emissions than dairy milk. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "Oatly’s offbeat marketing turned boring alt-milk into a $10-billion business," 10 Apr. 2021 This lightweight product is great for all skin types and is vegan, and free of parabens, sulfates, and dimethicone. Akili King, Vogue, "The Best Vitamin C Serums for a More Vibrant Complexion," 1 Apr. 2021 Carolyn Jonathan is learning French, loves Indian food, and has been a vegan for a few years., "Blind date: ‘She came prepared with a lot of questions’," 26 Mar. 2021 Also on the menu are brownies, cookies and other sweet treats, which are all vegan. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, "Gourmet cinnamon roll shop Cinnaholic coming to Arlington this month," 12 Mar. 2021 Funky Joe, who has been a vegan for a year and five months. Ingrid Cotto,, "Impossible pasteles and alcapurrias are fooling carnivores with a vegan twist on traditional Puerto Rican food," 10 Nov. 2020 Green Chef, a certified organic company, offers three meal plans, one of which is a vegetarian and vegan combo aptly-named Plant-Powered. Lindsay Boyers, Forbes, "6 Vegetarian & Vegan Meal Delivery Services That Make Plant-Based Dinners Easy," 5 Apr. 2021 Vegetarian and vegan dishes are also available, like the meat- and dairy-free emerald pilaf, a dome of rice spiced with five greens. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "You’ll want to get a taste of Âme, an upscale Indian restaurant opening April 9 in Oak Cliff," 1 Apr. 2021 Vegetarian and vegan options include burgers, salads, wraps, sandwiches and pies. cleveland, "10 restaurants to go for meatless Friday if you’re all fish fry-ed out," 23 Mar. 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.

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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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Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vegan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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 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

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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

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