One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1with object To convert into, or cause to resemble, a vegetable substance; to make or render vegetable.
2no object To lose interest in or capacity for intellectual or social activity. rare.
3with object To render (a person) docile or passive by impairing his or her intellectual function, usually as a means of treating violent behaviour, drug addiction, etc. Also in extended use. Now rare.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Encyclopaedia Metropolitana. From vegetable + -ize.
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