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From Middle English turnepe, probably from turn + Middle English nepe, from Old English nǣp, from Latin nāpus.[1] The component turn may be due to the round shape of the plant as though turned on a lathe, or because it must be turned and twisted to be harvested. Cognate to neep. See also parsnip.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɜː.nɪp/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɝ.nɪp/
  • (file)


turnip (plural turnips)

  1. The white root of a yellow-flowered plant, Brassica rapa, grown as a vegetable and as fodder for cattle.
  2. (Scotland, Ireland, Northern England, Cornwall, Atlantic Canada) The yellow root of a related plant, the swede or Brassica napus.
  3. (Hong Kong) The white root of Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, also known as a daikon.[2]
  4. (dated) A large, heavy pocket watch, so called because its profile resembled the vegetable.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  • German: Turnip
  • Irish: tornapa
  • Russian: турнепс (turneps)

See also[edit]


turnip (third-person singular simple present turnips, present participle turniping or turnipping, simple past and past participle turniped or turnipped)

  1. (transitive) To plant with turnips.
    • 1803, Agricultural Magazine (volume 9, page 32)
      This identical field has been turniped before, and to good account, in a favourable winter.
  2. (transitive) To feed or graze (livestock) on turnips.
    • 1869, Sheep: Their Breeds, Management, and Diseases (page 328)
      The Leicesters and half-breds are purchased by farmers who keep no breeding stock: they are well turniped during the winter, and clipped and fattened in the following season.
    • 1898, John Wrightson, Sheep: Breeds and Management, page 86:
      This system of turniping is found to encourage the growth and muscular development of young stock.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “turnip”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ Cummings, Patrick J., and Hans-Georg Wolf. A Dictionary of Hong Kong English: Words from the Fragrant Harbor (p. 178). 1st ed., Hong Kong University Press, 2011.