Definition of turnip in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtərnəp/


1A round root with white or cream flesh that is eaten as a vegetable and also has edible leaves.
Example sentences
  • Besides carrots, other root vegetables include turnips, parsnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas.
  • If you'd like to extend the harvest of carrots, turnips and other root vegetables, leave some in the ground to mulch as the weather gets colder.
  • Buried in this dirt, which remained cool but didn't freeze in the winter - were potatoes, carrots, turnips, and other root vegetables.
1.1A root similar or related to the turnip, especially a rutabaga.
2The European plant of the cabbage family that produces the turnip.
  • Brassica rapa, family Brassicaceae: ‘rapifera’ group.
Example sentences
  • Cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts predominate, but he also grows potatoes and sugar snap peas.
  • Both plants belong to the crucifer family which also includes turnip, cabbage, and mustard.
  • John Hadley builds his house in 1778 from the timbers of wrecked boats, while the British blockade the port and his wife, Coral, plants turnips and sweet peas.
3 informal A large, thick, old-fashioned pocket watch.



Example sentences
  • While I drank the turnipy tasting liquid, dozens of village boys crowded among the cots and cud-chewing cows.
  • In cold weather their golden colour did not develop, and at their first flowering they were usually turnipy white.
  • A pinch of sugar or a little bit of bacon helps tame their turnipy flavor.


Mid 16th century: first element of unknown origin + neep.

  • parsnip from Late Middle English:

    Parsnip is from Old French pasnaie, from Latin pastinaca, which is related to pastinare ‘dig and trench the ground’. The change in the ending was due to association with neep, a Scots and northern English word for ‘turnip’ (Old English, from Latin napus). The form turnip appeared M16th, but the origin of the first syllable is not known.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tur·nip

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