Definition of aubergine in US English:



  • 1The purple egg-shaped fruit of a tropical Old World plant, which is eaten as a vegetable; an eggplant.

    mass noun ‘a puree of aubergine’
    • ‘Since the resort began supporting local enterprises, many of the people have started growing new crops like courgettes, aubergines and peppers.’
    • ‘Served warm, the big, fat, juicy peppers, courgettes and aubergines had a breath of garlic and were consumed with great gusto.’
    • ‘Slice the aubergines crosswise, brush with a little extra olive oil and grill on both sides until well marked.’
    • ‘Lift out the aubergine, tomato and some of the onion with a draining spoon.’
    • ‘This was a large portion of delicious aubergines, courgettes and peppers, roasted and served in a tasty marinade.’
    • ‘Cut the aubergine and courgettes into neat 1.5cm cubes or diamonds with skins on, for the colour.’
    • ‘Just then, my next course arrives; it turns out to be a stuffed aubergine pie with layers of wild mushroom.’
    • ‘Remove the leaves from the top of the aubergine then cut the fruit into four lengthways.’
    • ‘Combine the aubergine, pepper and courgettes and spread over the potatoes.’
    • ‘Heat a large frying pan or wok and then fry off the vegetables in turn, aubergines first then peppers then courgettes.’
    • ‘Halve the tomatoes, again lengthways, and cut the aubergine into short, thick chunks then add them to the potatoes.’
    • ‘A variety of organic vegetables is grown under glass at the site, including aubergines, courgettes, peppers, lettuce, runner beans, peas and pumpkins.’
    • ‘Grill the aubergines, fennel, courgettes, and peppers, a few at a time, brushing with plenty of olive oil and seasoning on both sides until well coloured and tender.’
    • ‘It will surprise no one to hear that the aubergine is my favourite vegetable.’
    • ‘Peel the charred skin off the peppers, aubergines and onions.’
    • ‘Although the ground remains too hard to sow direct, meaning the parsnips still aren't in, the aubergines were sown yesterday in soil blocks in the greenhouse.’
    • ‘This is a lovely way of doing a variety of fried vegetables, like aubergines, courgettes, pumpkin, spinach and squash.’
    • ‘Even the chargrilled vegetables - which included courgettes, aubergines and sweet peppers - were excellent.’
    • ‘He also grows grapes, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, squash, sage, thyme, rosemary and bay.’
    • ‘The vegetables - aubergine, pepper, mushroom and onion - were slightly spicy, and served still warm.’
    1. 1.1 A dark purple color like the skin of an eggplant.
      • ‘‘Vogue’ has declared aubergine the colour of the season and everyone has been much relieved by the disappearance of pink.’
      • ‘Kenneth Cole's winter collection offers a wide variety of leather coats, in black and aubergine.’
      • ‘Some of them are quite distinctive colours like aubergine and black and white.’
      • ‘I call it purple, but I have been told, firmly, that it's aubergine.’
      • ‘The entire outside of the building is lit up every night in a disturbingly bright shade of aubergine.’
      • ‘The new fabric, which is going into bedding and draperies, is selling in gold, bronze and aubergine.’
      • ‘Dark berry colours will also be very popular; plum, aubergine, dark raspberry and even chocolate colours.’
      • ‘‘I'm not wearing anything aubergine,’ I said to him.’
      • ‘How many of us have contemplated painting a room deep aubergine or rich ocean blue, only to bail out at the last minute and settle on an uninspired but ultimately safe shade of cream?’
      • ‘The walls are painted a dark aubergine and rusty orange - not two colours I'd put together.’
      • ‘Colour predictions included lime green, with smatterings of orange for the retro fans and for more opulent effects, aubergine, brown and maroon.’
      • ‘The 1970s continued some of these tones to begin with, but as the decade progressed these moved toward earthier and softer more wistful tones such as aubergine and rust.’
      • ‘It's almost aubergine in shade and, with the bed against it, is going to look fabulous.’
      • ‘The purples are appearing in a soft, subtle vein in all casts from pale lavender to deep aubergine.’
      • ‘For eyes, try intense pigments such as deep aubergine, navy blue, black, darkest charcoal or even copper, followed by mascara.’
  • 2The large plant of the nightshade family that bears eggplants.

    Solanum melongena, family Solanaceae

    • ‘The capsicums are a genus of the family Solanaceae, and are therefore related to the New World tomato and potato, and, in the Old World, to the aubergine and deadly nightshade.’
    • ‘With long stretches of hot, dry weather they have really multiplied, ravaging my fig tree and runner beans and completely destroying three aubergine plants just as they began to flower.’


Late 18th century: from French, from Catalan alberginia, from Arabic al-bāḏinjān (based on Persian bādingān, from Sanskrit vātiṃgaṇa).