- any plant of the genus Asparagus, of the lily family, especially A. officianalis, cultivated for its edible shoots.
- the shoots, eaten as a vegetable.
Origin of asparagus
Examples from the Web for asparagus
I lived for my packages from home of eggplants and asparagus and tomatoes and broccoli and elephant garlic.Tales of a Jailhouse Gourmet: How I learned to Cook in Prison
June 21, 2014
The U.S. is one of Ecuador's largest customers, buying cut flowers, asparagus, minerals, and Pacific tuna fish.Ecuador Needs U.S. Aid. Will They Risk It All with Snowden?
June 26, 2013
Add the green beans, peas, lima beans, asparagus, fava beans, and 1/2 cup water to the pan.Three Quinoa Recipes for Your Weekend Parties
May 26, 2013
My Dad was a mad keen gardener, so we would always have all those local, seasonal, organic things; asparagus and artichokes.Tom Parker Bowles on Camilla's Roast Chicken, His Cocaine Sting and Those Pictures of Kate
October 3, 2012
Asparagus is one of those ingredients that I need to eat once it's around, and eggs are my all-time favorite food.Fresh Picks
August 24, 2011
It should be accompanied by asparagus, green peas, and lettuce.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
This does very well for a made dish when asparagus is not to be had.The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and New Dinner-Table Directory;
Charlotte Campbell Bury
Burned, where all summer long the boughs of asparagus flourished.Poems
William D. Howells
Make a brine of salt and water, strong enough to bear an egg; pour it hot on the asparagus, and let it be closely covered.
There was a patch too of grass that showed an asparagus green.The Paliser case
- any Eurasian liliaceous plant of the genus Asparagus, esp the widely cultivated A. officinalis, having small scaly or needle-like leaves
- the succulent young shoots of A. officinalis, which may be cooked and eaten
- asparagus fern a fernlike species of asparagus, A. plumosus, native to southern Africa
Word Origin and History for asparagus
late Old English sparage, from Latin asparagus (in Medieval Latin often sparagus), from Greek asparagos, of uncertain origin; probably from PIE root *sp(h)er(e)g- "to spring up" (though perhaps from a non-Greek source). In Middle English, asperages sometimes was regarded as a plural, with false singular aspergy.
By 16c. the word had been anglicized as far as sperach, sperage. It was respelled by c.1600 to conform with classical Latin, but then folk-etymologized formation sparrowgrass arose 17c., persisting into 19c., during which time asparagus had "an air of stiffness and pedantry" [John Walker, "Critical Pronouncing Dictionary," 1791]. Known in Old English as eorðnafela.