Definition of parsnip in English:



  • 1A long tapering cream-coloured root vegetable with a sweet flavour.

    ‘roasted parsnips’
    [mass noun] ‘a puree of celeriac and parsnip’
    [as modifier] ‘parsnip wine’
    • ‘When it comes to Christmas food I'm completely conventional - turkey, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, bread sauce, stuffing, English mustard and sausages.’
    • ‘Add in the carrots, parsnips and potatoes, season with salt, pepper and cumin, and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly.’
    • ‘So there is roast tenderloin of pork with mustard crème fraîche, spiced roast parsnips and roast pheasant with chestnut stuffing.’
    • ‘But hoummos has another, second life as an accompaniment to simple grills, served on the side in the same way that you would serve mashed potato or a parsnip purée.’
    • ‘I can't abide the sickly sweet flavour of parsnips.’
    • ‘Fresh and bright as those carrots, leeks and parsnips are it takes a shopper with a will of iron not to cast a wandering eye over the imported vegetables.’
    • ‘I particularly like the taste of parsnips, but you could substitute other root vegetables (carrots, turnips, celery-root) or better yet, use a mix of several.’
    • ‘Or make a hash by frying up all the leftover roast potatoes and parsnips, adding some chopped turkey and perhaps a little leftover stuffing too.’
    • ‘So the sweet, starchy parsnip was doubly useful and became a staple food.’
    • ‘The supermarket has also seen more root vegetables such as parsnips, potatoes and carrots being sold.’
    • ‘Wash and peel the vegetables you intend to roast - potatoes, pumpkin, kumara, onions, carrots, parsnips and turnips are all good roasted.’
    • ‘Some of the foods that contain quite a lot of water like root vegetables, parsnips, have got a very high glycaemic index, yet the glycaemic impact is quite low, simply because it's got a lot of water in it.’
    • ‘All types of vegetables are here, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, and an uncut whole butternut pumpkin.’
    • ‘Cut the sweet potato, parsnip and broccoli into bite-sized chunks and add to the curry with the shallots and lemongrass.’
    • ‘Jayne chose the only vegetarian option that night - beef tomatoes filled with sautéed vegetables (courgettes, carrots, parsnips and onions) on a lemon confit.’
    • ‘Using pastry bags, fill bottom half of shell with sweet potato mousse, fill top half of shell with parsnip pastry cream and top with chocolate glaze.’
    • ‘Once all the accompaniments are offered - roast potatoes, roast parsnips, Brussels sprouts and chestnuts - the absence of turkey on the veggie platter is scarcely likely to draw attention.’
    • ‘Try steamed carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, squash or celery root.’
    • ‘A few sweet roots, parsnips, carrots and a stalk of celery will add flavour to the pan juices.’
    • ‘Anyway, I was glad to welcome those parsnips into my vegetable drawer.’
  • 2The Eurasian plant of the parsley family which yields parsnips.

    • ‘This family of plants is vast and contains some of our most popular herbs such as, dill, coriander, parsley and angelica as well as some common pot herbs, for example carrot, parsnips and celery.’
    • ‘While the rest of the world savors basil and tomatoes, Andy gets pumped up to plant parsnips.’
    • ‘The rule of thumb is to plant parsnips when you plant potatoes.’
    • ‘On March 20, 1792, he was planting parsnips and working on asparagus beds when two girls climbed up on his fence.’
    • ‘Beets, carrots, parsnips, and turnips can be left in the ground for winter harvest if mulched with 6 to 12 inches of hay or straw.’
    • ‘Northern gardeners start parsnips in early spring, then let them grow all season and leave them in the ground covered with mulch for a winter or early spring harvest.’
    • ‘On the other hand, beets, carrots, parsnips, onions, cabbage, and broccoli are quite hardy, and should be in the ground by early May.’
    • ‘Finally, a light layer of mulch such as straw, hay, or even autumn leaves act as a layer of insulation, best suited for root crops like carrots, turnips, parsnips, and beets.’
    • ‘But there are also edible species of biennial, including carrots, parsley, parsnips and globe artichoke or cardoon.’
    • ‘This field had been fallow the previous year, and it was already blanketed with wild mustard, violets, chickweed, and wild parsnip.’
    • ‘Among those with the shortest life are sweet corn, okra, onion, parsley and parsnip.’
    • ‘This was met with raised eyebrows - especially from my grandparents - before they all tried to teach me how far apart to plant my parsnips and how to treat the top soil.’
    • ‘Seeds that barely last to the second year include sweet corn, leek, onion, parsley, parsnip, rhubarb and salsify.’


Late Middle English: from Old French pasnaie, from Latin pastinaca (related to pastinare dig and trench the ground). The change in the ending was due to association with neep.