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  • IPA(key): /ˈkæbɪd͡ʒ/
  • Hyphenation: cab‧bage
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Homophones: CABG (one pronunciation)
  • Rhymes: -æbɪdʒ

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English caboche, cabage (cabbage”; “a certain fish), a borrowing from Anglo-Norman[1][2] caboche (head), a northern variant of caboce,[3] of uncertain origin. Some authorities derive it from Latin caput (head),[2] others from ca- (said to be an expressive prefix) + boce (hump; bump).[1][4].


A head of cabbage.

cabbage (countable and uncountable, plural cabbages)

  1. An edible plant (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) having a head of green leaves.
  2. (uncountable) The leaves of this plant eaten as a vegetable.
    Cabbage is good for you.
  3. (countable, offensive) A person with severely reduced mental capacities due to brain damage.
    After the car crash, he became a cabbage.
  4. Used as a term of endearment.
  5. (uncountable, slang) Money.
  6. (uncountable, slang) Marijuana leaf, the part that is not smoked but from which cannabutter can be extracted.
  7. The terminal bud of certain palm trees, used for food.
  8. The cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto), a palm of the southeastern US coasts and nearby islands.
  9. Leftover scraps of fabric.
  • (plant): cabbage plant, cole
  • (leaves of this plant eaten as a vegetable): cole, greens
  • (person with severely reduced mental capacities due to brain damage): vegetable
Derived terms[edit]
  • Sranan Tongo: kabisi
  • Abenaki: kabij
  • Yoruba: kábéèjì


cabbage (third-person singular simple present cabbages, present participle cabbaging, simple past and past participle cabbaged)

  1. (intransitive) To form a head like that of the cabbage.
    to make lettuce cabbage
  2. (intransitive, slang) To do nothing; to idle; veg out.
    • 2006, Steve Mckevitt, Why the World Is Full of Useless Things, page 38:
      How effective the project was is a moot point, because there were never any studies carried out to see whether children benefited from cabbaging in front of the TV rather than interacting with a teacher.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Unclear. Perhaps from Dutch *kabbassen, from Old French cabasser (put into a basket), from cabas.[5] Alternatively, perhaps from an earlier word *carbage (shred), a potential variant of *garbage (wheat straw).[1]


cabbage (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable, slang) Scraps of cloth which are left after a garment has been cut out, which tailors traditionally kept.


cabbage (third-person singular simple present cabbages, present participle cabbaging, simple past and past participle cabbaged)

  1. (transitive) To purloin or embezzle; to pilfer, to steal.
    • 1712, John Arbuthnot, The History of John Bull:
      Your tailor [] cabbages whole yards of cloth.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      We toted in the wood and got the fire going nice and comfortable. Lord James still set in one of the chairs and Applegate had cabbaged the other and was hugging the stove.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 cabbage”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. 2.0 2.1 cabbage”, in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, →ISBN.
  3. ^ caboche, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ Etymology and history of “caboche”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
  5. ^ cabbage in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911