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[tur-nip] /ˈtɜr nɪp/
the thick, fleshy, edible root of either of two plants of the mustard family, the white-fleshed Brassica rapa rapifera or the yellow-fleshed rutabaga.
the plant itself.
the root of this plant used as a vegetable.
Origin of turnip
1525-35; earlier turnep(e), equivalent to turn (with reference to its neatly rounded shape) + nepe neep
Related forms
turniplike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for turnip
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This grows large like a turnip, and is preserved in the same way.

    Soil Culture J. H. Walden
  • And then with all his might he threw the turnip straight at Fatty Coon.

    The Tale of Jimmy Rabbit Arthur Scott Bailey
  • Cato pronounced the cabbage the finest vegetable known, and the turnip figures in the well-known anecdote of Manius Curius .

    The Private Life of the Romans Harold Whetstone Johnston
  • Besides, if you planted a turnip in a cabbage-field, that does not make it a cabbage.

  • There may be turnip ghosts precisely because there are real ghosts.

    Magic G.K. Chesterton
  • The same insect attacks the turnip, cauliflower, and probably other plants.

    The Cauliflower A. A. Crozier
  • Soon after I became minister, I stumbled one morning upon a small parcel lying in a turnip field adjoining the manse.

  • One of these, owing to a cross with the turnip, acquired the flavor of that vegetable.

    The Cauliflower A. A. Crozier
British Dictionary definitions for turnip


a widely cultivated plant, Brassica rapa, of the Mediterranean region, with a large yellow or white edible root: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
the root of this plant, which is eaten as a vegetable
any of several similar or related plants
another name for kohlrabi
Also called (for senses 1, 2) navew
Word Origin
C16: from earlier turnepe, perhaps from turn (indicating its rounded shape) + nepe, from Latin nāpus turnip; see neep
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for turnip

1530s, turnepe, probably from turn (from its shape, as though turned on a lathe) + Middle English nepe "turnip," from Old English næp, from Latin napus "turnip." The modern form of the word emerged late 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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