vegetarianism

noun
veg·​e·​tar·​i·​an·​ism | \ˌve-jə-ˈter-ē-ə-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of vegetarianism 

: the theory or practice of living on a vegetarian diet

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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 vegetarianism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Stepkin said people come to vegetarianism for reasons that include better health, caring for animals, environmental concerns or even spiritual reasons. Graydon Megan, chicagotribune.com, "Paul Obis, who started Vegetarian Times magazine, dies," 6 July 2018 While veganism and vegetarianism are practiced by a small minority in France - only 3 percent of the population identifies as vegetarian, reported The Local in 2016 - vegan activists have had several public run-ins with the law in recent months. Rebecca Tan, BostonGlobe.com, "France’s butchers fear the wrath of ‘militant vegans’," 28 June 2018 On high school and college campuses, vegetarianism and veganism is an aspirational identity and has a political force behind it. Amy Kaufman, Detroit Free Press, "‘Eating Animals’ documentary bites into meat industry," 24 June 2018 Nineteenth-century Seventh-day Adventists were known for celebrating Saturday as the Sabbath, for their vegetarianism and for their advocacy of abolition. Richard Selden, chicagotribune.com, "Battle Creek dishes up cereal — with a side of nostalgia — at breakfast-food bash in June," 22 May 2018 While veganism and vegetarianism are practiced by a small minority in France — only 3 percent of the population identifies as vegetarian, reported The Local in 2016 — vegan activists have had several public run-ins with the law in recent months. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "France’s butchers fear the wrath of ‘militant vegans’," 28 June 2018 Foer: On high school and college campuses, vegetarianism and veganism is an aspirational identity and has a political force behind it. Amy Kaufman, latimes.com, "'Eating Animals' producers Natalie Portman and Jonathan Safran Foer discuss veganism, farming and being pretentious," 14 June 2018 The knowledge that most animals destined to become meat aren’t raised in bucolic pastures and are, instead, stuffed into facilities known as factory farms has created a measure of discomfort (if not vegetarianism) for the general population. Longreads, "Wild At Heart," 17 May 2018 The Rajneeshees weren’t the only group promoting vegetarianism in the ’70s and ’80s, of course. Melissa Locker, Bon Appetit, "Watching ‘Wild, Wild Country’? Then You Need to See The Rajneesh Cookbook," 4 May 2018

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

circa 1848, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of vegetarianism was circa 1848

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More Definitions for vegetarianism

vegetarianism

noun
veg·​e·​tar·​i·​an·​ism | \-ē-ə-ˌniz-əm \

Medical Definition of vegetarianism 

: the theory or practice of living on a vegetarian diet

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