Definition of cabbage in English:



  • 1A cultivated plant eaten as a vegetable, having thick green or purple leaves surrounding a spherical heart or head of young leaves.

    • ‘In the school's garden are giant tufts of spinach, green peppers and cabbages planted according to eco-friendly and sustainable permaculture principles.’
    • ‘So far they have planted lettuce, cabbage, mustard, beetroot and pawpaw trees.’
    • ‘It becomes some sort of plant, like a cabbage, but bigger and with way more leaves.’
    • ‘At the top, she could not bear to look long at anything, the pond, the friendly profile of the collapsing house, the tiny meadow in which she had half-hoped to plant cabbages and beans in the spring.’
    • ‘Hidden behind trellises that enclose the outdoor growing area are lush green cabbages, green beans, exotic lettuces, peppers, tomatoes, spinach and a number of herbs, mostly in containers.’
    • ‘The highland Nainokanoka area is well suited for growing potatoes, cabbages, and other vegetables.’
    • ‘Vendors said they are expecting a further price increase in the coming fortnight because flood waters may have unleashed more damage to fragile cash crops as pak choy, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbages and peppers.’
    • ‘They planted cabbages, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin and carrots that are currently being harvested.’
    • ‘Other fields and cottage gardens grow grapevines on overhead trellises, the soil beneath the arches being densely planted with cabbages and other vegetables.’
    • ‘Particularly good trap crops include: green lettuce, cabbage, calendula, marigolds, comfrey leaves, zinnias and beans.’
    • ‘On extensive grounds, the school has a well organised vegetable and herb garden, where the children grow cabbages, onions, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and garlic.’
    • ‘We grow all manner of vegetables from cabbages and carrots to marrows.’
    • ‘Should your fall planter need a bit of extra color or more filler plants, ornamental cabbages will be the perfect final touch.’
    • ‘In what may have been the key sequence of the day, his approach landed a few yards from the pin, but bounced hard, and settled in the cabbage behind the green.’
    • ‘In addition to sheep products (wool, hides, and meat), the islands grow vegetables such as potatoes, cabbages, and cauliflower.’
    • ‘Rosemary, thyme and dill are also good decorative herbs to plant with cabbages.’
    • ‘But while they are growing he is cultivating the other cash crops including tomatoes, onions, cabbages, chilli peppers and coffee beans.’
    • ‘We plant a few cabbages and some early lettuces, and that pretty well fills up our garden plot.’
    • ‘To deter a whole range of insects that have an affinity for cabbages, practice good garden hygiene and rotate your crops.’
    • ‘In one of them, he urged his readers to plant the pine cabbage which stands unharmed through the icy Beijing winter, ready for use when the spring thaw arrives.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun]The leaves of cabbage, eaten as a vegetable.
      ‘boiled cabbage’
      • ‘While liver is the best source of vitamin A, excellent vegetable sources are carrots, cabbage and broccoli.’
      • ‘Vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and turnips may reduce the risk of cancerous tumors.’
      • ‘Colcannon is a dish made of potato and either wild garlic, cabbage or curly kale.’
      • ‘Vegetarian bangers with cabbage and onion clapshot will humble many a meat-eater, while the earthy sweet potato, coconut and lentil soup is as genial as an old friend's embrace.’
      • ‘Studies show cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts have anti-cancer properties, especially when minimally cooked.’
      • ‘And the ones we custom-ordered, stuffed with onions, carrots and cabbage, are a good choice for vegetarians.’
      • ‘Vegetables to stock up on include broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale and cauliflower.’
      • ‘Mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce are good snack foods, and they add highly desirable phytonutrients and fiber to your diet.’
      • ‘The stove was always cooking up something hot to eat or drink, even if it was only fish, cabbage, carrots and potatoes, chapattis, nettle and onion soup and wild mint and blackberry leaf tea.’
      • ‘Vegetables such as cabbage, turnips, carrots, and broccoli are also popular as accompaniments to the meat and potatoes.’
      • ‘In the meantime it may help to avoid gas producing foods, including beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, eggplant, radishes and onions.’
      • ‘Next, fill your plate with cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale.’
      • ‘To include indirect antioxidants in your diet, eat daily servings of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and citrus fruits and drink green tea.’
      • ‘This comes with fillings like chopped peas, carrots, beans, cabbage, onion, chilly, and all the garam masala ingredients.’
      • ‘Add the onion, paprika, bay leaves, cabbage, carrot and potatoes.’
      • ‘He could see whole boiled onions, carrots and cabbage, piled high.’
      • ‘The veggie and non-veggie versions were identical, save for the beef in the meat couscous, and the vegetables included zucchini, carrot, cabbage and big beefy lima beans.’
      • ‘The vegetables, a mixture of bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, were fresh and delicious.’
      • ‘All those beans, chickpeas, lentils and vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, eggplant and onions gave me such gas I was miserable.’
      • ‘The pie was packed with lean meat and came with a separate and very hot dish of vegetables (carrots, white cabbage and broccoli).’
  • 2informal A person who leads a dull or inactive life.

    ‘the image of the housewife as a cabbage is prevalent’
    • ‘She longs to resume a career, ‘I do not want to become a cabbage,’ she says.’
    • ‘You just become a cabbage; bored to tears watching telly, with every day the same.’
    • ‘Staying at home doesn't mean you should become a cabbage.’
    1. 2.1British offensive A person whose physical or mental activity is impaired or destroyed by injury or illness.
      ‘I said I would not become a cabbage after my stroke’


Late Middle English: from Old French ( Picard) caboche head, variant of Old French caboce, of unknown origin.