Definition of vegetative in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvejəˌtādiv/


1 Biology Relating to or denoting reproduction or propagation achieved by asexual means, either naturally (budding, rhizomes, runners, bulbs, etc.) or artificially (grafting, layering, or taking cuttings): vegetative spores a vegetative replicating phase
More example sentences
  • Thymus loscosii might have a combined strategy of sexual and asexual reproduction, since vegetative propagation of stolons has been observed in the field.
  • The usual mode of reproduction in Hydra is vegetative, by forming asexual buds.
  • Today Sargassum reproduces asexually by vegetative budding of new shoots that eventually break off to form new plants.
1.1Relating to or concerned with growth rather than sexual reproduction: environmental factors trigger the switch from vegetative to floral development
More example sentences
  • They suggested that, for such species, colony design may have been optimized for allocating resources to vegetative growth rather than to the production of larvae.
  • These expression patterns are consistent with roles for invertases both in vegetative and sexual growth cycles.
  • These are the potential meristems that are formed at the base of each leaf during vegetative growth.
2Relating to vegetation or plant life: diverse vegetative types
More example sentences
  • Winter chilling has two principal effects: it removes dormancy, so that when warm conditions return in the spring the plants have renewed vegetative vigour.
  • Tortula ruralis is an important model system for the study of plant vegetative desiccation tolerance.
  • It has been predominantly isolated from soils, vegetative plant parts, seeds, and cotton fabrics.
3 Medicine (Of a person) alive but comatose and without apparent brain activity or responsiveness. See persistent vegetative state.
Example sentences
  • Diagnosis depends on careful clinical observation over many weeks, because there are no laboratory or imaging tests that reliably indicate that a patient is vegetative.
  • The imminent threat of Malcolm's death or long-term permanent paralysis and vegetative state from serious brain damage had immobilized and terrified them.
  • Older patients, particularly women, may have vegetative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction.



Example sentences
  • The petunias I wrote about last week were all propagated vegetatively, from cuttings or by tissue culture.
  • Very little fluorescence, if any, was detected in both transformants when they were vegetatively growing, as was consistent with the results of Northern blot analysis.
  • Because Chlamydomonas is a multiple-fission alga, a cell that is growing vegetatively may yield daily two or more daughter cells, all of which need to be incapacitated by UV treatment to prevent colony formation.


Example sentences
  • The grapes were grown in Monterey County, not the best Cabernet region in the state because of a telltale vegetativeness that frequently distinguishes the varietal when it is grown there.
  • After twenty-two months in barrel, the blueberry fruit seems remarkably straight forward, though a bit of vegetativeness creeps in around the edges.
  • Like to but don't always get up to much, so at various points it's city exploration, sofa-based vegetativeness, recently I even went hiking in the West Sussex downs - imagine that.


Late Middle English (sense 2): from Old French vegetatif, -ive or medieval Latin vegetativus (see vegetate).

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