veg·​e·​ta·​tion | \ˌve-jə-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of vegetation 

1 : plant life or total plant cover (as of an area)

2 : the act or process of vegetating

3 : inert existence

4 : an abnormal growth upon a body part fibrin vegetations on the mitral valve

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vegetation

vegetational \ˌve-​jə-​ˈtā-​shnəl, -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of vegetation in a Sentence

the dense vegetation of the jungle the local vegetation is flourishing as a result of the recent rains

Recent Examples on the Web

More vegetation will dry out, creating more fuel for wildfires. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Watch how the climate could change in these US cities by 2050," 30 Nov. 2018 Some astronomers used to think the Red Planet's dark surface markings were vegetation, but space probes in the 1960s and '70s revealed the markings to be vast expanses of rock and dust. Joe Rao,, "Mars Makes Its Closest Approach in 15 Years This Summer: How to See It," 29 May 2018 One possible reason for the Central Park ramp-up: Cold weather in April that hindered vegetation growth. Brian K Sullivan,, "New York Breaks Record High Temperature Thursday Afternoon," 3 May 2018 California was again drenched with heavy rains earlier this year, leading to a similar pattern of vegetation. Umair Irfan, Vox, "California’s wildfires are hardly “natural” — humans made them worse at every step," 12 Nov. 2018 All of the vegetation is real, with the exception of the three-foot-tall grass, because real grass would wilt under the lights throughout days of filming. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Crazy Rich Asians Made Its Wedding-on-a-Budget Look Like $40 Million," 6 Sep. 2018 But the wide number of issues under discussion—including vegetation management and wildfire mitigation—complicated the task. Erin Ailworth And Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "California Passes Bill to Rescue Utility Facing Fire Costs," 1 Sep. 2018 Wednesday Containment: 60 percent contained, as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday What's happened: The vegetation fire has killed one civilian and injured three firefighters. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Northern California wildfire updates: Pacific Crest Trail closures in effect despite progress on Klamathon Fire," 11 July 2018 Tens of millions of dollars in the state budget for next fiscal year and in California’s cap-and-trade program, which generates revenue by charging businesses for polluting, are earmarked for vegetation management. Kurtis Alexander,, "With wildfire season at hand, California on slightly safer footing this year," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vegetation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of vegetation

1564, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for vegetation

borrowed from Medieval Latin vegetātiōn-, vegetātiō "power of growth," going back to Latin, "act of invigorating," from vegetāre "to impart energy to, invigorate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal nouns — more at vegetate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vegetation

Share vegetation

Statistics for vegetation

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vegetation

The first known use of vegetation was in 1564

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vegetation



English Language Learners Definition of vegetation

: plants in general : plants that cover a particular area


veg·​e·​ta·​tion | \ˌve-jə-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of vegetation

: plant life or cover (as of an area) The valley was green with vegetation.


veg·​e·​ta·​tion | \ˌvej-ə-ˈtā-shən \

Medical Definition of vegetation 

: an abnormal outgrowth upon a body part specifically : any of the warty excrescences on the valves of the heart that are composed of various tissue elements including fibrin and collagen and that are typical of endocarditis

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on vegetation

What made you want to look up vegetation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!