Definition of vegetate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvejəˌtāt/


[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;
informal veg, 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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: veg·e·tate

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