vegetable[vej′tə bəl, vej′ə tə-]
- Vegetable means anything having to do with plants.
An example of vegetable is a soup made primarily with vegetables, “vegetable soup.”
- The definition of a vegetable is a person that is no longer able to mentally function.
An example of a vegetable is someone with a brain injury that cannot live without life support.
- Vegetable is the edible root, tuber, leaf, stem, seed or flower of a plant.
An example of a vegetable is spinach.
This fresh spinach is a vegetable.
Spinach is an example of a vegetable.
- of, or having the nature of, plants in general: the vegetable kingdom
- of, having the nature of, made from, consisting of, or produced by edible vegetables
Origin of vegetableMiddle English ; from Medieval Latin vegetabilis, vegetative, capable of growth ; from Late Latin animating, enlivening ; from Classical Latin vegetare: see vegetate
- broadly, any plant, as distinguished from animal or inorganic matter
- any herbaceous plant that is eaten whole or in part, raw or cooked
- the edible part of such a plant, as the root (e.g., a carrot), tuber (a potato), seed (a pea), fruit (a tomato), stem (celery), or leaf (lettuce)
- a person thought of as like a vegetable, as because of leading a dull, unthinking existence or because of having lost consciousness, the use of the mind, etc.
Origin of vegetable< ML vegetabilia (pl.), growing things, vegetables
- a. A plant cultivated for its edible parts, such as the roots of the beet, the leaves of spinach, the flower buds of broccoli, or the fruit or seeds of certain species, as beans, corn, and squash.b. The edible part of such a plant.c. A member of the vegetable kingdom, especially a green plant.
- Offensive Slang One who is severely impaired mentally and physically, as by brain injury or disease.
- Of, relating to, or derived from plants or a plant: vegetable dyes.
- Made from or with edible plants or plant parts: vegetable lasagna.
- Growing or reproducing like a plant.
Origin of vegetableFrom Middle English, living and growing as plants do, from Old French, from Medieval Latin vegetābilis, from Late Latin, enlivening, from Latin vegetāre, to enliven, from vegetus, lively, from vegēre, to be lively; see weg- in Indo-European roots. Word History: Andrew Marvell's “To His Coy Mistress” contains many striking phrases and images, but perhaps most puzzling to modern readers is one in this promise from the speaker to his beloved: “Had we but world enough, and time &ellipsis; / My vegetable love should grow / Vaster than empires and more slow.” One critic has playfully praised Marvell for his ability to make one “think of pumpkins and eternity in one breath,” but vegetable in this case is only indirectly related to edible plants. Here the word is used figuratively in the sense “having the property of life and growth, as does a plant,” a use based on an ancient religious and philosophical notion of the tripartite soul. As interpreted by the Scholastics, the vegetative soul was common to plants, animals, and humans; the sensitive soul was common to animals and humans; and the rational soul was found only in humans. “Vegetable love” is thus a love that grows, takes nourishment, and reproduces, although slowly. Marvell's use in the 1600s illustrates the original sense of vegetable, first recorded in the 1400s. In the 1500s, the adjectival meaning of vegetable familiar to us, “having to do with plants,” begins to appear, along with the first instances of vegetable as a noun meaning “a plant.” It is not until the 1700s, however, that we find the noun and adjective used more restrictively to refer specifically to certain kinds of plants that are eaten.
- Any plant.
- 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, or spice in the culinary sense.
- The edible part of such a plant.
- (figuratively) A person whose brain (or, infrequently, body) has been damaged so that they cannot interact with the surrounding environment; a brain-dead person.
- Of or relating to plants.
- Of or relating to vegetables.