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[vej-i-teyt] /ˈvɛdʒ ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used without object), vegetated, vegetating.
to grow in, or as in, the manner of a plant.
to be passive or unthinking; to do nothing:
to lie on the beach and vegetate.
Pathology. to grow, or increase by growth, as an excrescence.
Origin of vegetate
1595-1605; < Latin vegetātus (past participle of vegetāre to quicken, enliven), equivalent to veget(us) lively (orig. past participle of vegēre to give vigor) + -ātus -ate1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vegetate
Historical Examples
  • Egg-plant seed will not vegetate freely without a substantial heat.

  • They vegetate in this condition for a long time, and may still be found there in May.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • The fruit-trees showed no signs of vitality; and though the fields had been ploughed, the grain had not yet begun to vegetate.

  • For forty-two months that child was content to sit on his fanny and vegetate.

    The Short Life Francis Donovan
  • You are forced to vegetate, rather than live, within the narrow confines of an uninviting and unhealthy quarter.

    Rabbi and Priest Milton Goldsmith
  • Humanity is content to vegetate, much after the fashion of a race of moles.

    Astronomy for Amateurs Camille Flammarion
  • Farmers say that their corn looks as fair as ever, but does not vegetate well.

    Soil Culture J. H. Walden
  • In the month of May, it buries itself in the earth, and begins to vegetate.

  • In the month of May it buries itself in the earth and begins to vegetate.

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • Would you like to vegetate like your dear good mother at Fairoaks?

    The History of Pendennis William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for vegetate


verb (intransitive)
to grow like a plant; sprout
to lead a life characterized by monotony, passivity, or mental inactivity
(pathol) (of a wart, polyp, etc) to develop fleshy outgrowths
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin vegetāre to invigorate
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 vegetate

c.1600, "to grow as plants do," perhaps a back-formation from vegetation, or from Latin vegetatus, past participle of vegetare "to enliven, to animate" (see vegetable (adj.)). Sense of "to lead a dull, empty, or stagnant life" is from 1740. Related: Vegetated; vegetating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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