vegetable

[vej-tuh-buhl, vej-i-tuh-]
noun
1.
any plant whose fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves, or flower parts are used as food, as the tomato, bean, beet, potato, onion, asparagus, spinach, or cauliflower.
2.
the edible part of such a plant, as the tuber of the potato.
3.
any member of the vegetable kingdom; plant.
4.
Informal. a person who is so severely impaired mentally or physically as to be largely incapable of conscious responses or activity.
5.
a dull, spiritless, and uninteresting person.
adjective
6.
of, consisting of, or made from edible vegetables: a vegetable diet.
7.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of plants: the vegetable kingdom.
8.
derived from plants: vegetable fiber; vegetable oils.
9.
consisting of, comprising, or containing the substance or remains of plants: vegetable matter; a vegetable organism.
10.
of the nature of or resembling a plant: the vegetable forms of art Nouveau ornament.
11.
inactive; inert; dull; uneventful: a vegetable existence.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Late Latin vegetābilis able to live and grow, equivalent to vegetā(re) to quicken (see vegetate) + -bilis -ble

nonvegetable, noun, adjective
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World English Dictionary
vegetable (ˈvɛdʒtəbəl)
 
n
1.  any of various herbaceous plants having parts that are used as food, such as peas, beans, cabbage, potatoes, cauliflower, and onions
2.  informal a person who has lost control of his mental faculties, limbs, etc, as from an injury, mental disease, etc
3.  a.  a dull inactive person
 b.  (as modifier): a vegetable life
4.  (modifier) consisting of or made from edible vegetables: a vegetable diet
5.  (modifier) of, relating to, characteristic of, derived from, or consisting of plants or plant material: vegetable oils
6.  rare any member of the plant kingdom
 
[c14 (adj): from Late Latin vegetābilis animating, from vegetāre to enliven, from Latin vegēre to excite]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

vegetable
c.1400, "living and growing as a plant," from O.Fr. vegetable "living, fit to live," from M.L. vegetabilis "growing, flourishing," from L.L. vegetabilis "animating, enlivening," from L. vegetare "to enliven," from vegetus "vigorous, active," from vegere "to be alive, active, to quicken," from PIE *weg-
"be strong, lively," related to watch (v.), vigor, velocity, and possibly witch (see vigil). The meaning "resembling that of a vegetable, dull, uneventful" is attested from 1854 (see vegetable (n.)).

vegetable
1582, originally any plant, from vegetable (adj.); specific sense of "plant cultivated for food, edible herb or root" is first recorded 1767. Slang shortening veggie first recorded 1955. The O.E. word was wyrte. Meaning "person who leads a monotonous life" is recorded
from 1921. The commonest source of words for vegetables in IE languages are derivatives of words for "green" or "growing" (cf. It., Sp. verdura, Ir. glasraidh, Dan. grøntsager). For a different association, cf. Gk. lakhana, related to lakhaino "to dig.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

vegetable veg·e·ta·ble (věj'tə-bəl, věj'ĭ-tə-)
n.

  1. A plant cultivated for an edible part, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower.

  2. The edible part of such a plant.

adj.
Of, relating to, or derived from plants or a plant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vegetable   (věj'tə-bəl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A plant that is cultivated for an edible part, such as the leaf of spinach, the root of the carrot, or the stem of celery.

  2. An edible part of one of these plants. See Note at fruit.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They do little damage to the plant itself, but they make fruit and vegetable
  unmarketable.
The second is in the area of edible oil and vegetable oil.
It's one part charades and one part trivia tied together by an offbeat
  vegetable mascot.
Any materials that used to be a plant can go into your compost bin, including
  all fruit and vegetable scraps.
Images for vegetable
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