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[vej-i-tey-tiv] /ˈvɛdʒ ɪˌteɪ tɪv/
growing or developing as or like plants; vegetating.
of, relating to, or concerned with vegetation or vegetable growth.
of or relating to the plant kingdom.
noting the parts of a plant not specialized for reproduction.
(of reproduction) asexual.
denoting or pertaining to those bodily functions that are performed unconsciously or involuntarily.
having the power to produce or support growth in plants:
vegetative mold.
characterized by a lack of activity; inactive; passive:
a vegetative state.
Also, vegetive
[vej-i-tiv] /ˈvɛdʒ ɪ tɪv/ (Show IPA)
1350-1400; Middle English vegetatyf < Medieval Latin vegetātīvus. See vegetate, -ive
Related forms
vegetatively, adverb
vegetativeness, noun
nonvegetative, adjective
nonvegetatively, adverb
nonvegetativeness, noun
nonvegetive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vegetative
  • Entirely vegetative and quite uniform in consistency.
  • We located a patch of these vegetative terrors near our campsite, but never did find any that had managed to catch a bug.
  • But she lives essentially a vegetative life, though planted on a golden patch.
  • At first glance, a patient in a persistent vegetative state may appear only to be resting, eyes open.
  • It's a global decline so that includes both per-plant changes and the total vegetative cover.
  • All countries rich or poor, developed or undeveloped destroy the vegetative cover of the land they control.
  • In the jargon of neurology, she was judged to be in a persistent vegetative state.
  • New bedside test finds awareness in vegetative brains.
  • Its vegetative zone contains trails of orchids, bonsai trees and epiphytic bromeliads.
  • They ridiculed the claim that she was in a persistent vegetative state.
British Dictionary definitions for vegetative


of, relating to, or denoting the nonreproductive parts of a plant, i.e. the stems, leaves, and roots, or growth that does not involve the reproductive parts
(of reproduction) characterized by asexual processes
of or relating to functions such as digestion, growth, and circulation rather than sexual reproduction
(of a style of living) dull, stagnant, unthinking, or passive
Derived Forms
vegetatively, adverb
vegetativeness, noun
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 vegetative

late 14c., "endowed with the power of growth," from Medieval Latin vegetativus, from past participle stem of vegetare (see vegetable (adj.)). Middle English transferred sense was "characterized by growth." Modern pathological sense of "brain-dead, mentally inert" is from 1893.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vegetative in Medicine

vegetative veg·e·ta·tive (věj'ĭ-tā'tĭv)

  1. Of, relating to, or capable of growth.

  2. Of or functioning in processes such as growth or nutrition rather than sexual reproduction.

  3. Of or relating to asexual reproduction, such as fission or budding.

  4. Of or relating to the resting stage of a cell or its nucleus.

  5. Of or relating to a pathological vegetation.

  6. Of or being a state of grossly impaired consciousness, as after severe head trauma or brain disease, in which an individual is incapable of voluntary or purposeful acts and only responds reflexively to painful stimuli.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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vegetative in Science
  1. Relating to or characteristic of plants or their growth.

  2. Relating to vegetative reproduction.

  3. Relating to feeding and growth rather than reproduction, as in the mobile phase of plasmodial slime molds.

  4. Relating to an impaired level of brain function in which a person responds reflexively to certain sensory stimuli but demonstrates no cognitive function.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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