Definition of vitamin in English:



  • 1Any 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’
    • ‘It is a time characterised by a lack of vitamins in the human body after a hard winter.’
    • ‘Other genes, to make the plant synthesise essential amino acids and vitamins, can also be added.’
    • ‘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 vitamin can decrease cholesterol and boost circulation - but large doses can cause a red rash.’
    • ‘This is due to a lack of thiamine, a vitamin that is essential for the mechanisms by which energy is released from foodstuffs.’
    • ‘Our bodies actually only need tiny amounts of vitamins and minerals.’
    • ‘We include protein for growth and essential minerals and vitamins in raw foods, salads and fruits.’
    • ‘Studies have shown that deficiency in essential vitamins can lead to antisocial behaviour.’
    • ‘The decline is not consistent with all nutrients and vitamins, but it is clear that our food is not what it once was.’
    • ‘Eating nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals is just another way to improve your health.’
    • ‘She also said that it could be stress related or maybe even a vitamin deficiency that the tests don't show up.’
    • ‘They will be fed, once a week, a diet of chicken and meat laced with the vitamins and nutrients they need.’
    • ‘Most vitamin and mineral supplements stay in your body and continue to work for two to three days.’
    • ‘Young bodies grow quickly and they need all the vitamins and minerals they can get.’
    • ‘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 dandelion is very nutritious, containing more vitamins and minerals than most vegetables.’
    • ‘Can your body derive all of the vitamins and minerals that it needs from food, and is it really necessary to take a supplement?’
    • ‘Not so long ago, most people would not have had an ideal regular intake of vitamin C, a vitamin the human body cannot synthesize.’
    1. 1.1North American A pill containing a specified amount of a particular vitamin or vitamins, taken as a dietary supplement.
      ‘I woke up this morning and took a vitamin’


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