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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of plants or their growth.
  • adj. Biology Of, relating to, or capable of growth.
  • adj. Biology Of, relating to, or functioning in processes such as growth or nutrition rather than sexual reproduction.
  • adj. Biology Of or relating to asexual reproduction, such as fission or budding.
  • adj. Spending much time sitting or lying down; physically inactive.
  • adj. Medicine Of or relating to an impaired level of brain function in which a person responds to certain sensory stimuli but demonstrates no cognitive function.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or relating to plants; especially to their growth.
  • adj. Of, or relating to functions such as growth, nutrition and asexual reproduction rather than sexual reproduction.
  • adj. Physically inactive.
  • adj. Of a state of impaired brain function, where a person can respond to some stimuli but is incapable of voluntary acts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Growing, or having the power of growing, as plants; capable of vegetating.
  • adj. Having the power to produce growth in plants.
  • adj. Having relation to growth or nutrition; partaking of simple growth and enlargement of the systems of nutrition, apart from the sensorial or distinctively animal functions; vegetal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Growing, or having the power of physical growth, as plants; of or pertaining to physical growth or nutrition, especially in plants.
  • In animal physiol., noting those functions or organs of the body which, being performed or acting unconsciously or involuntarily, are likened to the processes of vegetable growth, as digestion, circulation, secretion, and excretion, which are particularly concerned in the nutrition or in the growth, waste, and repair of the organism: opposed to the specially ani mal functions, as locomotion, cerebration, etc.
  • Hence, characterized by such physical processes only; lacking intellectual activity; stagnant; unprogressive.
  • Having the power to produce or support growth in plants: as, the vegetative properties of soil.
  • n. A vegetable.

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

  • adj. composed of vegetation or plants
  • adj. relating to involuntary bodily functions
  • adj. (of reproduction) characterized by asexual processes
  • adj. of or relating to an activity that is passive and monotonous


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • "People like to use the term vegetative roof system," OGS spokeswoman Heather Groll said of the $1.1 million. 32,000-square-foot project. Local Breaking News

  • Then it is very probable that the soul of these reptiles is of a different kind from that which we call vegetative soul in plants; that it is a faculty of a superior order, which God has vouchsafed to give to certain portions of matter.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • The last symptoms are particularly suggestive of a real clinical depression, and are often called vegetative symptoms of depression.

    Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D.: Identifying Depression

  • We now report on new fundamental studies on GAII in vegetative matter and on a simple way for significant performance improvement of Zn/Cu-vegetative battery.


  • Once one accepts that premise, and anyone who claims otherwise does not understand basic economics, then a system that favors research and prevention over life support for patients in long-term vegetative states is not only the most reasonable choice, but also the most ethical one.

    Jacob M. Appel: Rational Rationing vs. Irrational Rationing: The Struggle for the Legacy of Ruben Betancourt

  • Ghosts of expunged flora, the never-born groaning in vegetative chancery beneath the asphalt came up with a tropical curse, an equatorial leaden wet sweat of air which rose from the earth itself, rose right up through the baked asphalt and into the heated air which entered the lungs like a hand slipping into a rubber glove.

    Southpaw Grammar

  • David, I, too, take this stuff seriously and believe that living wills can certainly help avoid some of the heart-rending decisions that must be made daily by friends and relatives of the terminally ill or people in vegetative states.

    Happy Easter

  • People killed in a fire, people in a long-term vegetative state, they all end up posed about the same.


  • One of my main goals in moving my research group to Canada is to apply the techniques that we have developed for assessing long-term vegetative patients and showing that some of them are in fact conscious to coma patients in the intensive care unit.

    The Guardian World News

  • Once the bacteria is in the bloodstream it can infect other organs like the valves of the heart, resulting in a disease known as vegetative valvular endocarditis.

    Dr. Karen Becker: Trendy Pet Dental Procedure May Do More Harm Than Good


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  • My dad's favorite thing to do after a hard day's work was sit in front of the TV and vegetate. His words. He was perfectly healthy, if a bit lazy. ;-)

    April 1, 2007

  • As in persistent vegetative state.

    April 1, 2007