vegetative

Use the adjective vegetative to describe a physically or mentally inactive person. If you lie around on the couch all day flipping TV channels, your sister may accuse you of being in a vegetative state.

Watching television can be a vegetative activity, because certain shows require little thinking on the part of the viewer. Someone describing a vegetative state is either talking about a lazy friend, or — more seriously — a patient whose brain is damaged, leaving him unable to move, speak, or think. The original meanings of the word had more to do with growth than inactivity, but by the late 1800's doctors began using vegetative to describe patients who resembled vegetables rather than moving, thinking humans.

Definitions of vegetative
  1. adjective
    of or relating to an activity that is passive and monotonous
    “a dull vegetative lifestyle”
    synonyms: vegetive
  2. adjective
    relating to involuntary bodily functions
    vegetative functions such as digestion or growth or circulation”
    Synonyms:
    involuntary
    controlled by the autonomic nervous system; without conscious control
  3. adjective
    composed of vegetation or plants
    “the decaying vegetative layer covering a forest floor”
    synonyms: vegetal, vegetational
  4. adjective
    (of reproduction) characterized by asexual processes
    synonyms: vegetal
    asexual, nonsexual
    not having or involving sex
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