veg·​an ˈvē-gən How to pronounce vegan (audio)
ˈvā- How to pronounce vegan (audio)
ˈve-jən How to pronounce vegan (audio)
-ˌjan How to pronounce vegan (audio)
: a strict vegetarian who consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals
also : one who abstains from using animal products (such as leather)
vegan adjective
vegan desserts
a vegan restaurant

Did you know?

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 vegan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just north of the ballpark are a variety of spots as well, like the vegan restaurant Bereisheet 129 and N-DUB Pizza Pub. Alexandra Hardle, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 Cosmic Bird features other vegan items, such as a fish sandwich, mushroom burger, Impossible meat sausages, onion rings, and burritos. Amanda Hancock, The Courier-Journal, 23 Feb. 2024 There are pizzas, classic American bar bites and vegan and gluten-free options, along with other cross-cultural collaborations. Benjy Egel, Sacramento Bee, 22 Feb. 2024 However, a striking 52% drop in vegan pizza orders introduced an unexpected twist, revealing the fluid dynamics of America's taste preferences. Stephanie Gravalese, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 There’s a no-mixer cake for the beginner baker, an ambitious dome cake for the pastry pro, a chocolaty layer cake for your gluten-free friend, and a dairy-free number for your vegan cousin. Zoe Denenberg, Bon Appétit, 21 Feb. 2024 Private and shared lodging options range from Western-style chalets to glamping tents and yurts, and rates include nutritious meals (including vegan and gluten-free options) and access to amenities like saunas and a hot tub. Julia Eskins, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Feb. 2024 The menu has plenty of options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners as well. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Feb. 2024 First is the mobile app and website Happy Cow, which lists vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants from all around the world, and second is TikTok. Laurie Larsh, Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vegan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


by contraction from vegetarian entry 1

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vegan was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near vegan

Cite this Entry

“Vegan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


veg·​an ˈvē-gən How to pronounce vegan (audio)
: a strict vegetarian who does not use animals or dairy products for food
vegan adjective
veganism noun

Medical Definition


: a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products
vegan adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on vegan

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