Definition of vegetable noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈvedʒtəbl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈvedʒtəbl//
    Vegetables, Crops
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  1. 1   (informal, especially in North American English veggie) a plant or part of a plant that is eaten as food. Potatoes, beans and onions are all vegetables. green vegetables (= for example cabbage) root vegetables (= for example carrots) a salad of raw vegetables a vegetable garden/patch/plot vegetable matter (= plants in general) compare animal, fruit, mineral See related entries: Vegetables, Crops
  2. 2(British English also cabbage) a person who is physically alive but not capable of much mental or physical activity, for example because of an accident or illness Severe brain damage turned him into a vegetable.
  3. 3a person who has a boring life Since losing my job I've been a vegetable.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘growing as a plant’): from Old French, or from late Latin vegetabilis ‘animating’, from Latin vegetare, from vegetus ‘active’, from vegere ‘be active’. The current sense dates from the late 16th cent.Extra examples The children don’t eat enough green vegetables. They grow all their own vegetables. a salad of crisp, raw vegetables
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: vegetable