Share this entry

vegetate Syllabification: veg·e·tate
Pronunciation: /ˈvejəˌtāt/

Definition of vegetate in English:


[no object]
1Live or spend a period of time in a dull, inactive, unchallenging way: if she left him there alone, he’d sit in front of the television set and vegetate
More example sentences
  • I thought I was faced with vegetating on benefits until pensionable age, but I'm now ready for a new future.
  • John was vegetating and getting demotivated because of the lack of work opportunities.
  • ‘I'm not sitting and vegetating, I need to get cracking,’ he said.
do nothing, relax, rest, idle, languish, laze, lounge, loll;
informalveg, bum around, hang out, zone out, lollygag
2 dated (Of a plant or seed) grow; sprout.
2.1 [with object] Cause plants to grow in or cover (a place).
Example sentences
  • This area is lightly vegetated with juniper, pine, sage, and grasses.
  • The Board plans to vegetate Waterfall Gully with more native trees and plants.
  • Although there were abundant lakes and ponds on the islands, they would have been vegetated chiefly by bulrushes.
3 Medicine (Of an abnormal growth) increase in size.
Example sentences
  • The 8-cm-high vegetating tumor consisted of solid sheets of poorly cohesive epithelioid cells broken into clusters by strands of stroma.
  • When THC is exposed to UV-B while vegetating, it increases the UV-B melatonin which attaches to the THC.


Early 17th century: from Latin vegetat- 'enlivened', from the verb vegetare, from vegetus 'active', from vegere 'be active'.

Words that rhyme with vegetate


Definition of vegetate in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources