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From Late Latin edibilis, from Latin edō (eat).



edible (comparative more edible, superlative most edible)

  1. That can be eaten without harm; innocuous to humans; suitable for consumption.
    edible fruit
  2. That can be eaten without disgust.
    Although stale, the bread was edible.
    • 1957, Jane Van Zandt Brower, Experimental Stdies of Mimicry in Some North American Butterflies, in 1996, Lynne D. Houck, Lee C. Drickamer (editors), Foundations of Animal Behavior: Classic Papers with Commentaries, page 81,
      However, rather than try to place the Viceroy in a rigid, all-or-none category which implies more than the data show, the Viceroy is here considered more edible than its model, the Monarch, but initially less edible (except to C-2) than the non-mimetic butterflies used in these experiments.
    • 2006, Ernest Small, Culinary Herbs[1], page 17:
      Recently germinated seeds are often even more nutritious from the point of view of humans because the stored chemicals are often transformed into more edible and palatable substances.
    • 2009, Ephraim Philip Lansky, Helena Maaria Paavilainen, Figs, page 4,
      This gets to the heart of the matter because, in the parthenogenic state, the fruits are more edible (though there are also apparently advantages to pollinated figs, which may be bigger and stronger) and the trees more productive from the human's point of view.

Usage notes[edit]

edible is the most common term for “capable of being eaten”; eatable is rather informal, while comestible is relatively formal.



Coordinate terms[edit]



edible (plural edibles)

  1. Anything edible.
    1. In particular, an edible mushroom.
      Synonym: esculent
  2. (marijuana) a foodstuff, usually a baked good, infused with tetrahydrocannabinol from cannabutter etc.




  • edible” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.