See more synonyms for vegetative on
  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.
Also veg·e·tive [vej-i-tiv] /ˈvɛdʒ ɪ tɪv/.

Origin of vegetative

1350–1400; Middle English vegetatyf < Medieval Latin vegetātīvus. See vegetate, -ive
Related formsveg·e·ta·tive·ly, adverbveg·e·ta·tive·ness, nounnon·veg·e·ta·tive, adjectivenon·veg·e·ta·tive·ly, adverbnon·veg·e·ta·tive·ness, nounnon·veg·e·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vegetative

Contemporary Examples of vegetative

Historical Examples of vegetative

British Dictionary definitions for vegetative


  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
Derived Formsvegetatively, adverbvegetativeness, noun
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 vegetative

late 14c., "endowed with the power of growth," from Medieval Latin vegetativus, from past participle stem of vegetare (see vegetable (adj.)). Middle English transferred sense was "characterized by growth." Modern pathological sense of "brain-dead, mentally inert" is from 1893.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vegetative in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or capable of growth.
  2. Of or functioning in processes such as growth or nutrition rather than sexual reproduction.
  3. Of or relating to asexual reproduction, such as fission or budding.
  4. Of or relating to the resting stage of a cell or its nucleus.
  5. Of or relating to a pathological vegetation.
  6. Of or being a state of grossly impaired consciousness, as after severe head trauma or brain disease, in which an individual is incapable of voluntary or purposeful acts and only responds reflexively to painful stimuli.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

vegetative in Science


  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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.