[vej-i-tair-ee-uh n]
  1. a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.
  1. of or relating to vegetarianism or vegetarians.
  2. devoted to or advocating this practice.
  3. consisting solely of vegetables: vegetarian vegetable soup.

Origin of vegetarian

First recorded in 1835–45; veget(able) + -arian
Related formsnon·veg·e·tar·i·an, adjective, noun
Can be confusedvegan vegetarian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for non-vegetarian

Historical Examples of non-vegetarian

  • Vegetarians also frequently stay with non-vegetarian friends, or lodge with others who do not understand how to provide for them.

British Dictionary definitions for non-vegetarian


  1. a person who advocates or practises vegetarianism
  1. relating to, advocating, or practising vegetarianism
  2. cookery strictly, consisting of vegetables and fruit only, but usually including milk, cheese, eggs, etc
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

Word Origin and History for non-vegetarian



1839, irregular formation from vegetable (n.) + -arian, as in agrarian, etc. "The general use of the word appears to have been largely due to the formation of the Vegetarian Society in Ramsgate in 1847" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

non-vegetarian in Medicine


  1. One who practices vegetarianism.
  1. Of or relating to vegetarianism or vegetarians.
  2. Consisting primarily or wholly of vegetables and vegetable products.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.