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parsnip

[pahr-snip]
noun
  1. a plant, Pastinaca sativa, cultivated varieties of which have a large, whitish, edible root.
  2. the root of this plant.
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Origin of parsnip

1350–1400; earlier pars(e)nep, pass(e)nep, Middle English pas(t)nep(e) < Latin past(ināca) parsnip (derivative of pastinum forked dibble) + Middle English nep turnip; see neep
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for parsnip

Historical Examples of parsnip

  • MacKenzie followed the south branch, or what is now known as the Parsnip.

    Canada: the Empire of the North

    Agnes C. Laut

  • For musk-rats, we'd put a parsnip or an apple on the spindle of a box trap.

    Beautiful Joe

    Marshall Saunders

  • The Parsnip is, after the potato, the most valuable of roots.

    The Stock-Feeder's Manual

    Charles Alexander Cameron

  • Some pronounced it to be a Parsnip, having a yellow root, and thin leaves.

  • Adult wasps have been taken on parsnip, Pastinaca sativa (Robertson, 1928).


British Dictionary definitions for parsnip

parsnip

noun
  1. a strong-scented umbelliferous plant, Pastinaca sativa, cultivated for its long whitish root
  2. the root of this plant, eaten as a vegetable
  3. any of several similar plants, esp the cow parsnip
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Word Origin for parsnip

C14: from Old French pasnaie, from Latin pastināca, from pastināre to dig, from pastinum two-pronged tool for digging; also influenced by Middle English nepe turnip
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 parsnip

n.

16c., parsnepe, corruption (by influence of Middle English nepe "turnip;" see neep) of Middle English passenep (late 14c.), from Old French pasnaise "parsnip," also "male member" (Modern French panais), from Latin pastinaca "parsnip, carrot," from pastinum "two-pronged fork" (related to pastinare "to dig up the ground"); so called from the shape of the root. The parsnip was considered a kind of turnip.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper