Other forms: vegetables

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
  1. noun
    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
  2. noun
    edible seeds or roots or stems or leaves or bulbs or tubers or nonsweet fruits of any of numerous herbaceous plant
    synonyms: 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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