Definition of vegetate in English:



  • 1Live or spend a period of time in a dull, inactive, unchallenging way:

    ‘if she left him alone, he'd sit in front of the television and vegetate’
    • ‘Now, he was quite content to work on and draw a fairly respectable salary as an alternative to vegetating on a basic old age pension.’
    • ‘I didn't want to sit and vegetate in front of the TV so I started the course.’
    • ‘John was vegetating and getting demotivated because of the lack of work opportunities.’
    • ‘Joseph prefers to vegetate on a sofa and read his books.’
    • ‘I should take a night or a day to just stop and vegetate - take a bubble bath or watch a movie - but I haven't been able to bring myself to do so yet.’
    • ‘If I don't help him along, he will sit there and vegetate.’
    • ‘‘I'm not sitting and vegetating, I need to get cracking,’ he said.’
    • ‘We're back, after two weeks of vegetating in Bangalore, in the most beautiful cool weather.’
    • ‘Not that I read any more or make music or write - I just vegetate in front of the myriad digital channels we now have.’
    • ‘Aunt Lou is still vegetating in Holy Light Nursing Home.’
    • ‘It was his first competitive action since Royal St George's, following a much-needed break in which he vegetated on the sofa and reacquainted himself with his Rangers season-ticket.’
    • ‘I work long days, and then tend to vegetate when I'm not working, so I'm always at one of extremes, activity-wise.’
    • ‘Instead I was vegetating, bringing the kids home from school, doing crosswords.’
    • ‘I thought I was faced with vegetating on benefits until pensionable age, but I'm now ready for a new future.’
    • ‘I've drunk myself stupid at university, I've smoked, and I've vegetated.’
    • ‘I'm going to vegetate tonight, and then tomorrow I shall transform myself into a super efficient research machine.’
    • ‘If I had my druthers, I'd so be staying here for the weekend and just vegetating.’
    • ‘So I'm going to just vegetate a bit and collapse.’
    • ‘All you do is vegetate and count the milliseconds until you can go home.’
    do nothing, idle, be inactive, languish, laze, laze about, laze around, lounge, lounge about, lounge around, loll, loll about, loll around, loaf, loaf about, loaf around, slouch, slouch about, slouch around
    go to seed, degenerate, moulder, stagnate
    hang around, hang round, veg out
    hang about, mooch about, mooch around, slummock
    bum around, bat about, bat around, lollygag
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  • 2dated (of a plant or seed) grow; sprout:

    ‘he advised that seeds be sent in a vegetating condition’
    sprout, shoot up, spring up, develop, bud, burst forth, germinate, bloom
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    1. 2.1[with object] Cause plants to grow in or cover (a place):
      ‘the final task was to vegetate the area used to store the muck dredged from the pond’
      • ‘Although there were abundant lakes and ponds on the islands, they would have been vegetated chiefly by bulrushes.’
      • ‘This area is lightly vegetated with juniper, pine, sage, and grasses.’
      • ‘But during the last 200 years, exotic annual grasses from Europe started taking over, and now only 2 percent of the state's grasslands are vegetated by native perennial grasses.’
      • ‘The Board plans to vegetate Waterfall Gully with more native trees and plants.’
      • ‘To be effective, a vegetative infiltration area must be designed, constructed, vegetated, and adequately maintained.’


Early 17th century: from Latin vegetat- enlivened, from the verb vegetare, from vegetus active, from vegere be active.