View synonyms for vegetative


[ vej-i-tey-tiv ]


  1. growing or developing as or like plants; vegetating.
  2. of, relating to, or concerned with vegetation or vegetable growth.
  3. of or relating to the plant kingdom.
  4. noting the parts of a plant not specialized for reproduction.
  5. (of reproduction) asexual.
  6. denoting or pertaining to those bodily functions that are performed unconsciously or involuntarily.
  7. having the power to produce or support growth in plants:

    vegetative mold.

  8. characterized by a lack of activity; inactive; passive:

    a vegetative state.


/ ˈvɛdʒɪtətɪv /


  1. of, relating to, or denoting the nonreproductive parts of a plant, i.e. the stems, leaves, and roots, or growth that does not involve the reproductive parts
  2. (of reproduction) characterized by asexual processes
  3. of or relating to functions such as digestion, growth, and circulation rather than sexual reproduction
  4. (of a style of living) dull, stagnant, unthinking, or passive
“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


/ vĕjĭ-tā′tĭv /

  1. Relating to or characteristic of plants or their growth.
  2. Relating to vegetative reproduction.
  3. Relating to feeding and growth rather than reproduction, as in the mobile phase of plasmodial slime molds.
  4. Relating to an impaired level of brain function in which a person responds reflexively to certain sensory stimuli but demonstrates no cognitive function.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈvegetatively, adverb
  • ˈvegetativeness, noun
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Other Words From

  • vege·tative·ly adverb
  • vege·tative·ness noun
  • non·vege·tative adjective
  • non·vege·tative·ly adverb
  • non·vege·tative·ness noun
  • non·vege·tive adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of vegetative1

1350–1400; Middle English vegetatyf < Medieval Latin vegetātīvus. See vegetate, -ive
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Example Sentences

The situation was so dire that the family of the patient had been told to expect she would remain in an irreversible vegetative state.

Disorders of consciousness are a common consequence of severe brain injury and include comas and vegetative states.

In a landmark study in 2006, a team of researchers showed that a 23-year-old woman, who suffered severe brain trauma and was thought to be in a vegetative state following a traffic accident, had signs of awareness.

People who are in a coma or vegetative state are thought to have no internal experience, like seeing or hearing.

Still a graduate student, I had begun co-conducting the first clinical trial using ultrasound to treat severe brain damage in patients with a “disorder of consciousness,” like coma or the vegetative state.

Terri Schiavo, on the other hand, was in a vegetative state.

“So settled, so still, so serene / Completely vegetative, cumcumbive, or potative, non-communicative, and green …” Bonkers.

The doctors told her to get busy and find a nursing home, as the prognosis was “a vegetative state at best.”

While not brain-dead, the 81 year old exists in a persistent vegetative state.

From the animal soul there likewise issued a splendor, which produced the vegetative soul.

From the vegetative soul proceeds again a splendor, from which is made the sphere (the heaven).

Next to the soul comes the Sphere (the heaven), which arises in the horizon and shadow of the vegetative soul.

Hence the splendor of the vegetative soul is undoubtedly brighter than that of the sphere, which comes from its shadow.

Thus we are told that the soul consists of three powers, or three souls, the vegetative, the animal and the rational.





vegetationvegetative reproduction