See more synonyms for turnip on Thesaurus.com
  1. the thick, fleshy, edible root of either of two plants of the mustard family, the white-fleshed Brassica rapa rapifera or the yellow-fleshed rutabaga.
  2. the plant itself.
  3. the root of this plant used as a vegetable.

Origin of turnip

1525–35; earlier turnep(e), equivalent to turn (with reference to its neatly rounded shape) + nepe neep
Related formstur·nip·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for turnip


  1. a widely cultivated plant, Brassica rapa, of the Mediterranean region, with a large yellow or white edible root: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
  2. the root of this plant, which is eaten as a vegetable
  3. any of several similar or related plants
  4. another name for kohlrabi
Also called (for senses 1, 2): navew

Word Origin for turnip

C16: from earlier turnepe, perhaps from turn (indicating its rounded shape) + nepe, from Latin nāpus turnip; see neep
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 turnip

1530s, turnepe, probably from turn (from its shape, as though turned on a lathe) + Middle English nepe "turnip," from Old English næp, from Latin napus "turnip." The modern form of the word emerged late 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper