Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The tender young shoots of the plant Asparagus officinalis, eaten as a vegetable.
  • noun Any of various perennial plants of the genus Asparagus of Eurasia and Africa, having leaflike stems, scalelike leaves, and small flowers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A plant of the genus Asparagus, especially A. officinalis.
  • noun A large genus of plants of the old world, natural order Liliaceæ.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A genus of perennial plants belonging to the natural order Liliaceæ, and having erect much branched stems, and very slender branchlets which are sometimes mistaken for leaves. Asparagus racemosus is a shrubby climbing plant with fragrant flowers. Specifically: The Asparagus officinalis, a species cultivated in gardens.
  • noun The young and tender shoots of Asparagus officinalis, which form a valuable and well-known article of food.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small beetle (Crioceris asparagi) injurious to asparagus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of various perennial plants of the genus Asparagus having leaflike stems, scalelike leaves, and small flowers.
  • noun The young shoots of Asparagus officinalis eaten as a vegetable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun plant whose succulent young shoots are cooked and eaten as a vegetable
  • noun edible young shoots of the asparagus plant

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Middle English sperage, sparage, from Medieval Latin sparagus, from Latin asparagus, from Greek aspharagos, asparagos.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin asparagus, sparagus, from Ancient Greek ἀσπάραγος (asparagos). Replaced earlier Old English sparagi, from Medieval Latin, later sperage, sparrowgrass.

Examples

  • ­asparagus soup, you can use a stalk or two of asparagus for extra flavor.

    Kentucky.com: Homepage

  • What I meant was not that asparagus is corn, or that corn is asparagus.

    Spargel

  • The asparagus is not what I am used to, yellow green and with less of the soft upper tip.

    Mungowitz in Deutschland--Day 3

  • Continue to sauté 4 – 6 minutes, until mushrooms are browned and asparagus is tender.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • I start with a glug of olive oil, add some minced garlic, throw in some sort of vegetable (usually broccoli, though asparagus is coming in season now, and that is super good, too.), squeeze in the juice of one lemon, and toss with whole wheat linguine.

    Weeknight Meal: Scrambled Pasta

  • Continue to sauté 4 – 6 minutes, until mushrooms are browned and asparagus is tender.

    A Test of Our "Metal"!

  • I think there is some compound in asparagus that reacts badly with wine, but I can't be arsed to google what it is.

    Asparagus with Morels and an XL Digression, blah-di-blah blah.

  • They contain asparagus sliced diagonally and lightly fried in olive oil; dark champignons (I sliced them after frying for artistic value – I would prefer shiitake I think, but they are hard to come by here), and zucchini slices.

    The were rabbits like to play with their food. « Were rabbits

  • (That said, I am eating a pork chop with 'em, but the asparagus is outstanding. 450 degrees for ten minutes in a little olive oil, and mmmm.) (42 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

    The Bush Brou-Ha-Ha

  • That's amazing -- that was exactly the first recipe I was going to try from that book, but asparagus is already out of season here (and consequently, expensive).

    Spring Asparagus with White Bean Sauce ◄ | A Veggie Venture

Comments

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  • WeirdNet, you're making me hungry.

    September 5, 2008

  • *slurps*

    September 6, 2008

  • This word has cute spellings in other languages, like asparago (Italian), spargel (German), asperge (French/Dutch), sparris (Swedish), etc.

    November 14, 2008

  • Ooh, spargel sounds even tastier.

    November 14, 2008

  • It is :-)

    November 14, 2008

  • see turion

    September 14, 2010

  • GNU Webster's 1913 (2 definitions)

    –noun

    A genus of perennial plants belonging to the natural order Liliaceæ, and having erect much branched stems, and very slender branchlets which are sometimes mistaken for leaves. Asparagus racemosus is a shrubby climbing plant with fragrant flowers. Specifically: The Asparagus officinalis, a species cultivated in gardens.

    March 10, 2011