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’
    • ‘In the majority of clonal plant species, which reproduce chiefly by vegetative propagation, seedling recruitment is infrequent.’
    • ‘Thymus loscosii might have a combined strategy of sexual and asexual reproduction, since vegetative propagation of stolons has been observed in the field.’
    • ‘Today Sargassum reproduces asexually by vegetative budding of new shoots that eventually break off to form new plants.’
    • ‘Many perennial plants combine sexual reproduction through seeds with reproduction through vegetative propagation.’
    • ‘The usual mode of reproduction in Hydra is vegetative, by forming asexual buds.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to or concerned with growth rather than sexual reproduction:
      ‘environmental factors trigger the switch from vegetative to floral development’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘In addition, the modular structure and less targeted vegetative morphology of plants enable them to have much greater morphological plasticity than could typical animals.’
    • ‘Waterhemps vary greatly in vegetative characters in nature, but such characters are usually only poorly represented on herbarium specimens.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This before we even consider my planned treatise on the vegetative god, Drop and Give Me Plenty.’
    • ‘According to noted plant ecologist Andre Clewell, this vegetative mix is normally found on the coast - more than 15 miles away.’
    • ‘A vegetative physiological parameter widely used to study plant tolerance to temperature is cell membrane thermostability.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The satellite combines the data from the red and near infrared wavelengths to calculate a vegetative index, which is an indication of plant health.’
    • ‘Tortula ruralis is an important model system for the study of plant vegetative desiccation tolerance.’
    • ‘The entire complement of IAA conjugates has also been determined in vegetative tissues of several plant species.’
    • ‘Winter chilling has two principal effects: it removes dormancy, so that when warm conditions return in the spring the plants have renewed vegetative vigour.’
    • ‘As we've moved, so have our food and exotic vegetative companions like apple and burdock.’
    • ‘These sugars, normally associated with the seed desiccation process, apparently are not involved in the WD responses of lupin vegetative tissues.’
    • ‘As in most other Mediterranean orchids, vegetative characters are similar across species and do not distinguish them.’
    • ‘Planting after June 1 generally results in lower yields due to reduced vegetative plant size.’
    • ‘It has been predominantly isolated from soils, vegetative plant parts, seeds, and cotton fabrics.’
    • ‘Some modifiers have been reported to enhance anthocyanin pigmentation of vegetative parts in plants carrying specific r1 haplotypes.’
  • 3Medicine
    (of a person) alive but comatose and without apparent brain activity or responsiveness.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Take away the ability to move control eye movements, and the person who's locked-in becomes defined as persistent vegetative.’
    • ‘Persistent vegetative state usually occurs after a severe head injury.’
    • ‘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.’


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