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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English vegetable, from Old French vegetable, from Latin vegetābilis (able to live and grow), derived from vegetāre (to enliven). Displaced native Old English wyrt.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈvɛd͡ʒtəbəl/, /ˈvɛd͡ʒətəbəl/
  • (file)
  • (US, Canada) IPA(key): /ˈvɛd͡ʒətəbəl/, /ˈvɛd͡ʒtəbəl/, /ˈvɛt͡ʃtəbəl/
  • (file)


vegetable (plural vegetables)

  1. Any plant.
    • 1837, The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal (volume 23, page 222)
      That he might ascertain whether any of the cloths of ancient Egypt were made of hemp, M. Dutrochet has examined with the microscope the weavable filaments of this last vegetable.
  2. A plant raised for some edible part of it, such as the leaves, roots, fruit or flowers, but excluding any plant considered to be a fruit, grain, herb, or spice in the culinary sense.
    Synonyms: veg, veggie
  3. The edible part of such a plant.
    Synonyms: veg, veggie
  4. (figuratively, derogatory) A person whose brain (or, infrequently, body) has been damaged so that they cannot interact with the surrounding environment; a person in a persistent vegetative state.
    Synonym: cabbage

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



vegetable (not comparable)

  1. Of or relating to plants.
  2. Of or relating to vegetables.


Further reading[edit]