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

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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

This could be because fish-eaters' cholesterol levels are not as low as the vegetarians', explained Tong. Nina Avramova, CNN, "Vegetarians might have higher risk of stroke than meat eaters, study says," 4 Sep. 2019 For years, nondrinkers were the vegetarians of the bar world: neglected by menus, eye-rolled by servers, forced to settle for soda. M. Carrie Allan, The Denver Post, "No alcohol, no problem: How to make complex, balanced zero-proof cocktails," 23 Aug. 2019 For years, nondrinkers were the vegetarians of the bar world: neglected by menus, eye-rolled by servers, forced to settle for soda. M. Carrie Allan, Twin Cities, "No alcohol, no problem: How to make complex, balanced zero-proof cocktails," 19 Aug. 2019 For years, nondrinkers were the vegetarians of the bar world: neglected by menus, eye-rolled by servers, forced to settle for soda. M. Carrie Allan, Washington Post, "No alcohol, no problem: How to make complex, balanced zero-proof cocktails," 14 Aug. 2019 For Tofurky and Morningstar, customers were more vegans and vegetarians, not mainstream consumers. Laura Reiley, BostonGlobe.com, "Veggie burgers were living an idyllic existence. Then they got caught in a war over the future of meat," 26 Aug. 2019 For Tofurky and Morningstar, customers were more vegans and vegetarians, not mainstream consumers. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "Veggie burgers were living an idyllic little existence. Then they got caught in a war over the future of meat.," 25 Aug. 2019 PERFECT FOR…Date night, pre- or post- Grand Lake Theatre pizza and cocktails on that patio, vegans and vegetarians. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "First Look: Oakland’s former Boot and Shoe Service re-opens with new name — and a promise," 16 Aug. 2019 Sweet and sour crispy pork hock will delight carnivores while tofu and vegetable dishes appeal to vegetarians. Sophie Davies, Condé Nast Traveler, "29 Best Restaurants in Sydney," 14 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The measures’ supporters don’t want vegan or vegetarian food items to be called burgers, steaks or dogs. New York Times, "What’s Meat Got to Do With It?," 25 July 2019 The brewery serves lunch and dinner (with gluten-free and vegetarian options), and has a rooftop patio, sidewalk seating and garage doors for an indoor-outdoor feel. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beer and a bike ride: 12 breweries along bike trails in Wisconsin," 6 June 2019 Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian options available. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "North County School News, May 10," 10 May 2018 The Den, with locations at The Lab in Costa Mesa and downtown Santa Ana, is known for its artsy, counterculture sensibilities and vegetarian and vegan food. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Gypsy Den café changes its name out of respect for Romani people, who find ‘G-word’ offensive," 26 July 2019 The popular periodic celebrations of vegetarian and vegan cuisine give metro Detroit restaurants, food trucks and caterers a chance to show off their meat-free creations and connect with folks devoted to healthful living. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "The weekend: Golf tales from David Feherty, Balloonfest, festivals in Trenton and Taylor," 26 June 2019 Miller has dined at establishments from San Francisco to Chicago serving African-American cuisine that’s traditional and health-conscious or vegetarian and vegan or upscale and fusion. Josie Sexton, The Denver Post, "Where has Denver’s soul food gone? In a historically black neighborhood, the last restaurant of its kind turns 20," 12 June 2019 Chapple created the salad for a vegetarian friend who wanted a version of a chicken salad. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Salad love: Creative, anything-goes approach will win your heart," 17 Apr. 2018 The rest of my stay, for which tickets would be $2,400 for the general public, would include all-vegetarian meals, a stay in one of these canvas tents with a mattress bed and a list of amenities that any Brooklyn hotel would be proud to boast. Angie Jaime, Teen Vogue, "The Aniwa Gathering Connected Me to My Indigenous Ancestors," 2 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for vegetarian

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vegetarian

The first known use of vegetarian was in 1842

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on vegetarian

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vegetarian

Spanish Central: Translation of vegetarian

Nglish: Translation of vegetarian for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vegetarian for Arabic Speakers

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