Definition of vegetative in English:



  • 1Biology
    Relating to or denoting reproduction or propagation achieved by asexual means, either naturally (budding, rhizomes, runners, bulbs, etc.) or artificially (grafting, layering, or taking cuttings)

    ‘vegetative spores’
    ‘a vegetative replicating phase’
    • ‘Many perennial plants combine sexual reproduction through seeds with reproduction through vegetative propagation.’
    • ‘Today Sargassum reproduces asexually by vegetative budding of new shoots that eventually break off to form new plants.’
    • ‘Thymus loscosii might have a combined strategy of sexual and asexual reproduction, since vegetative propagation of stolons has been observed in the field.’
    • ‘The usual mode of reproduction in Hydra is vegetative, by forming asexual buds.’
    • ‘In the majority of clonal plant species, which reproduce chiefly by vegetative propagation, seedling recruitment is infrequent.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to or concerned with growth rather than sexual reproduction.
      ‘environmental factors trigger the switch from vegetative to floral development’
      • ‘These are the potential meristems that are formed at the base of each leaf during vegetative growth.’
      • ‘They suggested that, for such species, colony design may have been optimized for allocating resources to vegetative growth rather than to the production of larvae.’
      • ‘You'll probably get vegetative growth (leaves and stems) the first year and flowering the second year.’
      • ‘Corn growth is in the vegetative stage, ranging from the 4-leaf to 7-leaf stage.’
      • ‘These expression patterns are consistent with roles for invertases both in vegetative and sexual growth cycles.’
  • 2Relating to vegetation or plant life.

    ‘diverse vegetative types’
    • ‘According to noted plant ecologist Andre Clewell, this vegetative mix is normally found on the coast - more than 15 miles away.’
    • ‘Waterhemps vary greatly in vegetative characters in nature, but such characters are usually only poorly represented on herbarium specimens.’
    • ‘These sugars, normally associated with the seed desiccation process, apparently are not involved in the WD responses of lupin vegetative tissues.’
    • ‘Planting after June 1 generally results in lower yields due to reduced vegetative plant size.’
    • ‘A summary of the dominance of the herbicide resistance trait, its fitness cost, and its effect on vegetative plant morphology for each of the eight mutant lines’
    • ‘As in most other Mediterranean orchids, vegetative characters are similar across species and do not distinguish them.’
    • ‘A vegetative physiological parameter widely used to study plant tolerance to temperature is cell membrane thermostability.’
    • ‘Tortula ruralis is an important model system for the study of plant vegetative desiccation tolerance.’
    • ‘A vegetable is technically derived from any other part of the plant - the vegetative parts, including the roots, stem, and leaves.’
    • ‘The tree borders or vegetative buffer strips that are often planted around farm fields to filter out sediment and pesticides in runoff may also provide habitat.’
    • ‘The entire complement of IAA conjugates has also been determined in vegetative tissues of several plant species.’
    • ‘Some modifiers have been reported to enhance anthocyanin pigmentation of vegetative parts in plants carrying specific r1 haplotypes.’
    • ‘Inulin type fructan was detected in all vegetative organs of Campanula rapunculoides L. plants.’
    • ‘The ability to grow plants devoid of secondary phenolics for several vegetative generations could yield important insights with regard to these, and other processes.’
    • ‘In addition, the modular structure and less targeted vegetative morphology of plants enable them to have much greater morphological plasticity than could typical animals.’
    • ‘The satellite combines the data from the red and near infrared wavelengths to calculate a vegetative index, which is an indication of plant health.’
    • ‘Winter chilling has two principal effects: it removes dormancy, so that when warm conditions return in the spring the plants have renewed vegetative vigour.’
    • ‘It has been predominantly isolated from soils, vegetative plant parts, seeds, and cotton fabrics.’
    • ‘As we've moved, so have our food and exotic vegetative companions like apple and burdock.’
    • ‘This before we even consider my planned treatise on the vegetative god, Drop and Give Me Plenty.’
  • 3Medicine
    (of a person) alive but comatose and without apparent brain activity or responsiveness.

    • ‘Persistent vegetative state usually occurs after a severe head injury.’
    • ‘Older patients, particularly women, may have vegetative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction.’
    • ‘The imminent threat of Malcolm's death or long-term permanent paralysis and vegetative state from serious brain damage had immobilized and terrified them.’
    • ‘Diagnosis depends on careful clinical observation over many weeks, because there are no laboratory or imaging tests that reliably indicate that a patient is vegetative.’
    • ‘Take away the ability to move control eye movements, and the person who's locked-in becomes defined as persistent vegetative.’


Late Middle English (in vegetative (sense 2)): from Old French vegetatif, -ive or medieval Latin vegetativus (see vegetate).