A vegetable is an edible part of a plant, like a stalk of broccoli, a carrot, or a spinach leaf. With a few exceptions (think French fries), vegetables are just about the healthiest food you can eat.

Culinary purists will tell you that some things you think of as vegetables, like tomatoes and zucchinis, aren't vegetables at all — they're fruits, because they have seeds. In general, though, it's fine to refer to the parts of plants used for food as vegetables. The word's original meaning was simply "any plant," and soon it came to mean "plant cultivated for food." Since 1921, it's also been slang for "person leading a monotonous, inactive life."

Definitions of vegetable

n any of various herbaceous plants cultivated for an edible part such as the fruit or the root of the beet or the leaf of spinach or the seeds of bean plants or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower

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Beta vulgaris, beet, common beet
biennial Eurasian plant usually having a swollen edible root; widely cultivated as a food crop
Spinacia oleracea, prickly-seeded spinach, spinach, spinach plant
southwestern Asian plant widely cultivated for its succulent edible dark green leaves
Cynara scolymus, artichoke, artichoke plant, globe artichoke
Mediterranean thistlelike plant widely cultivated for its large edible flower head
Cynara cardunculus, cardoon
southern European plant having spiny leaves and purple flowers cultivated for its edible leafstalks and roots
Beta vulgaris rubra, beetroot
beet having a massively swollen red root; widely grown for human consumption
Beta vulgaris cicla, Swiss chard, chard, chard plant, leaf beet, spinach beet
beet lacking swollen root; grown as a vegetable for its edible leaves and stalks
Beta vulgaris vulgaris, mangel-wurzel, mangold, mangold-wurzel
beet with a large yellowish root; grown chiefly as cattle feed
sugar beet
form of the common beet having a sweet white root from which sugar is obtained
Type of:
herb, herbaceous plant
a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests

n edible seeds or roots or stems or leaves or bulbs or tubers or nonsweet fruits of any of numerous herbaceous plant

veg, veggie
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julienne, julienne vegetable
a vegetable cut into thin strips (usually used as a garnish)
rabbit food, raw vegetable
an uncooked vegetable
the seedpod of a leguminous plant (such as peas, beans, or lentils)
any of various herbaceous plants whose leaves or stems or flowers are cooked and used for food or seasoning
green, greens, leafy vegetable
any of various leafy plants or their leaves and stems eaten as vegetables
solanaceous vegetable
any of several fruits of plants of the family Solanaceae; especially of the genera Solanum, Capsicum, and Lycopersicon
root vegetable
any of various fleshy edible underground roots or tubers
pieplant, rhubarb
long pinkish sour leafstalks usually eaten cooked and sweetened
cruciferous vegetable
a vegetable of the mustard family: especially mustard greens; various cabbages; broccoli; cauliflower; brussels sprouts
edible fruit of a squash plant; eaten as a vegetable
cucumber, cuke
cylindrical green fruit with thin green rind and white flesh eaten as a vegetable; related to melons
artichoke, globe artichoke
a thistlelike flower head with edible, fleshy leaves and heart
artichoke heart
the tender fleshy center of the immature artichoke flower
edible young shoots of the asparagus plant
bamboo shoot
edible young shoots of bamboo
an aromatic flavorful vegetable
related to onions; white cylindrical bulb and flat dark-green leaves
only parts eaten are roots and especially stalks (blanched and used as celery); related to artichokes
stalks eaten raw or cooked or used as seasoning
gumbo, okra
long mucilaginous green pods; may be simmered or sauteed but used especially in soups and stews
fleshy body of any of numerous edible fungi
usually large pulpy deep-yellow round fruit of the squash family maturing in late summer or early autumn
earthnut, truffle
edible subterranean fungus of the genus Tuber
starchy banana-like fruit; eaten (always cooked) as a staple vegetable throughout the tropics
Florence fennel, fennel, finocchio
aromatic bulbous stem base eaten cooked or raw in salads
edible seeds of various pod-bearing plants (peas or beans or lentils etc.)
chop-suey greens
succulent and aromatic young dark green leaves used in Chinese and Vietnamese and Japanese cooking
Irish potato, murphy, potato, spud, tater, white potato
an edible tuber native to South America; a staple food of Ireland
edible tuberous root of various yam plants of the genus Dioscorea grown in the tropics world-wide for food
sweet potato
the edible tuberous root of the sweet potato vine which is grown widely in warm regions of the United States
aubergine, eggplant, mad apple
egg-shaped vegetable having a shiny skin typically dark purple but occasionally white or yellow
Indian mustard, leaf mustard, mustard, mustard greens
leaves eaten as cooked greens
cabbage, chou
any of various types of cabbage
branched green undeveloped flower heads
compact head of white undeveloped flowers
brussels sprouts
the small edible cabbage-like buds growing along a stalk of the brussels sprout plant
broccoli raab, broccoli rabe
slightly bitter dark green leaves and clustered flower buds
summer squash
any of various fruits of the gourd family that mature during the summer; eaten while immature and before seeds and rind harden
winter squash
any of various fruits of the gourd family with thick rinds and edible yellow to orange flesh that mature in the fall and can be stored for several months
small prickly cucumber
Jerusalem artichoke, sunchoke
sunflower tuber eaten raw or boiled or sliced thin and fried as Saratoga chips
a newly grown bud (especially from a germinating seed)
beet, beetroot
round red root vegetable
beet green
young leaves of the beetroot
Swiss chard, chard, leaf beet, spinach beet
long succulent whitish stalks with large green leaves
sweet and hot varieties of fruits of plants of the genus Capsicum
Bermuda onion
mild flat onion grown in warm areas
green onion, scallion, spring onion
a young onion before the bulb has enlarged; eaten in salads
Vidalia onion
sweet-flavored onion grown in Georgia
Spanish onion
large mild and succulent onion; often eaten raw
small mild-flavored onion-like or garlic-like clustered bulbs used for seasoning
salad green, salad greens
greens suitable for eating uncooked as in salads
bean, edible bean
any of various edible seeds of plants of the family Leguminosae used for food
round flat seed of the lentil plant used for food
seed of a pea plant used for food
chickpea, garbanzo
large white roundish Asiatic legume; usually dried
black-eyed pea, cowpea
eaten fresh as shell beans or dried
orange root; important source of carotene
Paschal celery, pascal celery
any of several types of commercially grown celery having green stalks
celeriac, celery root
thickened edible aromatic root of a variety of celery plant
dandelion green
edible leaves of the common dandelion collected from the wild; used in salads and in making wine
kohlrabi, turnip cabbage
fleshy turnip-shaped edible stem of the kohlrabi plant
lamb's-quarter, pigweed, wild spinach
leaves collected from the wild
wild spinach
leafy greens collected from the wild and used as a substitute for spinach
mildly acid red or yellow pulpy fruit eaten as a vegetable
Mexican husk tomato, husk tomato, tomatillo
small edible yellow to purple tomato-like fruit enclosed in a bladderlike husk
either of two long roots eaten cooked
whitish edible root; eaten cooked
pungent fleshy edible root
root of any of several members of the mustard family
turnip greens
tender leaves of young white turnips
common sorrel, sorrel
large sour-tasting arrowhead-shaped leaves used in salads and sauces
French sorrel
greens having small tart oval to pointed leaves; preferred to common sorrel for salads
dark green leaves; eaten cooked or raw in salads
cocoyam, dasheen, edda, taro, taro root
tropical starchy tuberous root
Type of:
garden truck, green goods, green groceries, produce
fresh fruits and vegetable grown for the market

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