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

  • noun A plant (Solanum melongena) native to India, cultivated for its edible, glossy, usually ovoid fruits that are chiefly purple but can be white, yellow, or green.
  • noun A fruit of this plant.
  • noun A blackish purple.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The brinjal or aubergine, Solanum Melongena, cultivated for its large oblong or ovate fruit, which is of a dark-purple-color, or sometimes white or yellow. The fruit is highly esteemed as a vegetable. Also called egg-apple, mad-apple.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A plant (Solanum Melongena), of East Indian origin, allied to the tomato, and bearing a large, glossy, edible fruit, shaped somewhat like an egg; mad-apple. It is widely cultivated for its fruit, commonly eaten as a vegetable.
  • noun The fruit of the eggplant{1}.

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

  • noun Solanum melongena
  • noun Aubergine, the edible fruit of the Solanum melongena.
  • noun A dark purple color.
  • noun slang, derogatory, offensive A black person (used mainly by Italian-Americans).

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

  • noun hairy upright herb native to southeastern Asia but widely cultivated for its large glossy edible fruit commonly used as a vegetable
  • noun egg-shaped vegetable having a shiny skin typically dark purple but occasionally white or yellow


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

[From the appearance of the ovoid fruit, especially of varieties bearing white-skinned fruit.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From egg + plant, originally applied only to the white-colored variety.



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  • Neither an egg, nor a plant.

    December 8, 2006

  • Talk amongst yourselves! I'll give you a topic, eggplants are neither eggs nor plants. Discuss!

    December 9, 2006

  • I'm all verklempt

    December 9, 2006

  • eggplant, aubergine and brinjal are all the same vegetable yeah?

    March 30, 2007

  • I saw a photo of a white eggplant once, and suddenly it all became clear, why eggplant deserves to be in the weirdness league.

    I decided years ago that eggplants are so beautiful and interesting that I would force myself to keep making eggplant dishes until I found some that I liked. It worked. Now I love the stuff. :)

    October 18, 2007

  • Truly, they do belong in the weirdness league.

    October 18, 2007

  • Eggplant plant plant plants plants.

    (A spy in the aubergine works starts his own garden.)

    June 28, 2008

  • Deus ex aubergina.

    June 28, 2008

  • My Latin is rusty. Is that "Out of eggplants, God"? Or just "God jumped out of an eggplant"?

    June 28, 2008

  • I'm not sure, but I ardently believe the latter.

    June 28, 2008