Definition of vitamin in English:



  • Any of a group of organic compounds which are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body.

    ‘most people can get all the vitamins they need from a healthy diet’
    [as modifier] ‘vitamin deficiency’
    • ‘Most vitamin and mineral supplements stay in your body and continue to work for two to three days.’
    • ‘Not so long ago, most people would not have had an ideal regular intake of vitamin C, a vitamin the human body cannot synthesize.’
    • ‘Our bodies actually only need tiny amounts of vitamins and minerals.’
    • ‘Can your body derive all of the vitamins and minerals that it needs from food, and is it really necessary to take a supplement?’
    • ‘This is due to a lack of thiamine, a vitamin that is essential for the mechanisms by which energy is released from foodstuffs.’
    • ‘The decline is not consistent with all nutrients and vitamins, but it is clear that our food is not what it once was.’
    • ‘Other genes, to make the plant synthesise essential amino acids and vitamins, can also be added.’
    • ‘She also said that it could be stress related or maybe even a vitamin deficiency that the tests don't show up.’
    • ‘Eating nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals is just another way to improve your health.’
    • ‘Young bodies grow quickly and they need all the vitamins and minerals they can get.’
    • ‘Studies have shown that deficiency in essential vitamins can lead to antisocial behaviour.’
    • ‘We never thought in terms of nutritional value or vitamins in those days.’
    • ‘Evidence indicates that a lack of basic nutrients including vitamins in the diet can cause heart disease or make it worse.’
    • ‘The dandelion is very nutritious, containing more vitamins and minerals than most vegetables.’
    • ‘Jackie believes that we all need to do is watch the vitamin and mineral levels in our diet.’
    • ‘Drop in and they will advise you on your vitamin requirements for the coming winter.’
    • ‘The vitamin can decrease cholesterol and boost circulation - but large doses can cause a red rash.’
    • ‘It is a time characterised by a lack of vitamins in the human body after a hard winter.’
    • ‘We include protein for growth and essential minerals and vitamins in raw foods, salads and fruits.’
    • ‘They will be fed, once a week, a diet of chicken and meat laced with the vitamins and nutrients they need.’


Early 20th century: from Latin vita life + amine, because vitamins were originally thought to contain an amino acid.