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
2 : herbivore

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

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 It’s not just about individual actions, like giving up air travel, or becoming a vegetarian, it’s about working together with other people in a common effort, Gill said. Seth Borenstein, ajc, 8 May 2022 This Taiwanese-Chinese restaurant chain serves pork, chicken and vegetarian bun sandwiches and desserts. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2022 One of the sources is a book about being a vegetarian that just mentions the siege in passing. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 Apr. 2022 The humble bean burrito has been a part of the working class diet since before the term vegetarian was coined, Gonzales said. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 25 Mar. 2022 In 2022 the typical English consumer is more likely to be a vegetarian who works from home than in years past, at least according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 14 Mar. 2022 This is what McConaughey ate every night for dinner during his stay with a host family in Australia in an attempt to become a vegetarian. New York Times, 9 Feb. 2022 Brittany Leddy, a 31-year-old marketing manager in New York, is a vegetarian and has been buying vegan leather for five years. Aria Darcella, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2022 Mosaic Foods makes frozen, ready-to-heat vegetarian and vegan meals that use fresh, nutritious, and affordable ingredients, with offerings of veggie bowls, soups, oats, and more. Malia Griggs, SELF, 24 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While some people also like to add ground meat, my mother-in-law's recipe is vegetarian. Felicia Campbell, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2022 Organic, plant-based and locally-sourced, everything here is vegetarian and made with love. Anna Haines, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 While some people also like to add ground meat, my mother-in-law's recipe is vegetarian. Felicia Campbell, The Arizona Republic, 8 Apr. 2022 Hercules’s borscht is meaty, with smoked pears; Timoshkina’s is vegetarian and calls for roasted beets and, unusually, pomegranate molasses. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 All meals on offer at Meme’s Twisted Potato are vegetarian or vegan, from its cauliflower wings to its veggie burger. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, 17 Mar. 2022 Borshch can be white, green or pink; hot or cold; include meat or fish, or be vegetarian or even vegan. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Another pot could be vegetarian and another could be meat. Joan Elovitz Kazan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Dec. 2021 Its menu is gluten free and vegetarian, with a focus on street food. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of vegetarian

Noun

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vegetarian

Noun

veget(able) entry 1 + -arian

Learn More About vegetarian

Time Traveler for vegetarian

Time Traveler

The first known use of vegetarian was in 1841

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near vegetarian

vegetal pole

vegetarian

vegetarianism

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Statistics for vegetarian

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vegetarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vegetarian. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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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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