vegetarian

noun
veg·​e·​tar·​i·​an | \ ˌve-jə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce vegetarian (audio) \

Definition of vegetarian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who does not eat meat : someone whose diet consists wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products

vegetarian

adjective

Definition of vegetarian (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or suitable for vegetarians a vegetarian restaurant
2 : not containing meat : consisting wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products a vegetarian diet vegetarian lunch

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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 vegetarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The government of the time did face questions about the clarity of its messages, vegetarians were entitled to special ration books, and equipment shortages were a subject of parliamentary debate. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Crises Are No Time for Political Unity," 20 May 2020 Saturday will be turkey, with a black bean burger for vegetarians. oregonlive, "Portland chefs to feed more than 500 homeless people daily through new county program," 27 Mar. 2020 Perfect for vegetarians, this casserole is packed with meatless protein from the black beans and cottage cheese. Natalie Rizzo, NBC News, "10 easy, one-dish meals that are perfect for a potluck," 7 Dec. 2018 Its nutritional value makes it an excellent grain to incorporate into all kinds of dishes, particularly for vegetarians. Katie Workman, NBC News, "4 meatless meals your family will love," 2 Mar. 2020 For vegetarians there are many nonmeat bacon products. Andrew Skurka, Outside Online, "An Easy-to-Make, Savory Backcountry Breakfast," 1 Feb. 2020 Many cities with large expat populations even have related groups — ones for specific neighborhoods, ones for pet owners and ones for vegetarians. Hahna Yoon, New York Times, "How to Move Abroad," 18 Nov. 2019 In the West, angst about animal welfare or disgust at the idea of meat are big motives for vegetarians. The Economist, "The planet needs China to curb its appetite for meat," 17 Oct. 2019 The charred cauliflower steak is a great option for vegetarians. John-john Williams Iv, baltimoresun.com, "These Baltimore restaurants probably aren’t on your radar. Here’s why they should be.," 25 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While there is some meat available, every dish on the menu can be made vegan or vegetarian. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "4th Street Social Club to bring hyper-local, plant-based dining to Sonoma County," 8 July 2020 Apparently, the Republican only made up 1% of Torchy's taco sales, and the company is coming up with an improved version, as well as a new vegetarian option to replace the Independent. Abigail Rosenthal, Houston Chronicle, "Torchy's Tacos removed the Republican, Independent from the menu ⁠— but don't read into it," 29 June 2020 There was laughter, tasty vegetarian food and a sweet custard for dessert. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "The 17-member family that lived together, ate together and got coronavirus together," 5 July 2020 The Independent was a vegetarian offering with portobello mushrooms, refried black beans, corn, carrots, avocado, cotija cheese, cilantro and ancho aioli on a flour tortilla. Abigail Rosenthal, Houston Chronicle, "Torchy's Tacos removed the Republican, Independent from the menu ⁠— but don't read into it," 29 June 2020 Cultivated for use as a vitamin B-12 and protein-rich supplement, nutritional yeast brings a cheesy flavor to dishes and is commonly used in vegan and vegetarian diets. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Here Are the Baking and Cooking Questions You've Asked Most in Quarantine," 17 June 2020 Perhaps buy less meat and cook more vegetarian meals. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: Coca-Cola has a worldwide footprint — and plenty of room to grow," 14 June 2020 Does being a vegetarian or vegan make any of this go away? Bernadette Fay, SFChronicle.com, "Why meat is no longer essential in the vegan-friendly Bay Area," 5 June 2020 Find all of these dishes and more in our collection great vegetarian grilling recipes. Saveur Editors, Saveur, "Vegetarian Recipes For When You Just Don’t Want Meat," 30 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vegetarian.' 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 vegetarian

Noun

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for vegetarian

Noun

veget(able) entry 1 + -arian

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Time Traveler for vegetarian

Time Traveler

The first known use of vegetarian was in 1842

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Statistics for vegetarian

Cite this Entry

“Vegetarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vegetarian. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for vegetarian

vegetarian

noun
veg·​e·​tar·​i·​an | \ ˌve-jə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce vegetarian (audio) \

Kids Definition of vegetarian

: a person who does not eat meat

vegetarian

noun
veg·​e·​tar·​i·​an | \ ˌvej-ə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce vegetarian (audio) \

Medical Definition of vegetarian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an individual who believes in or practices vegetarianism

vegetarian

adjective

Medical Definition of vegetarian (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to vegetarians
2 : consisting wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products a vegetarian diet

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Comments on vegetarian

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