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[vej-i-tair-ee-uh n] /ˌvɛdʒ ɪˈtɛər i ən/
a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.
of or pertaining to vegetarianism or vegetarians.
devoted to or advocating this practice.
consisting solely of vegetables:
vegetarian vegetable soup.
1835-45; veget(able) + -arian
Related forms
nonvegetarian, adjective, noun
Can be confused
vegan, vegetarian. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for vegetarians
  • But he'd serve lots of vegetables in case vegetarians came over to dinner.
  • Might be difficult to change peoples' habits, ie make them vegetarians.
  • vegetarians are well catered for, with an array of tortilla and pasta-based dishes on offer.
  • Of course people that think that bullfighting should be banned are not all vegetarians, but that doesn't make us hypocrites.
  • Most college graduates are vegetarians and will become cranky or upset if offered meat.
  • She also figured that she was inviting too many vegetarians to serve so much meat.
  • As the local food movement grows, vegetarians and omnivores alike are seeking paths to responsible dietary citizenship.
  • Of course, you do need to know how to cook for vegans and vegetarians, even if you don't happen to be one yourself.
  • vegetarians are okay, especially if they enjoy the mint leaves that are crushed into the bourbon.
  • Ethnic cuisine offers tasty and inspiring recipes for vegetarians.
British Dictionary definitions for vegetarians


a person who advocates or practises vegetarianism
relating to, advocating, or practising vegetarianism
(cookery) strictly, consisting of vegetables and fruit only, but usually including milk, cheese, eggs, etc
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 vegetarians



1839, irregular formation from vegetable (n.) + -arian, as in agrarian, etc. "The general use of the word appears to have been largely due to the formation of the Vegetarian Society in Ramsgate in 1847" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vegetarians in Medicine

vegetarian veg·e·tar·i·an (věj'ĭ-târ'ē-ən)
One who practices vegetarianism. adj.

  1. Of or relating to vegetarianism or vegetarians.

  2. Consisting primarily or wholly of vegetables and vegetable products.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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