Sunday, October 21, 2007

Etymology of Vegetable

Vegetable is also used as a legendary term for any plant: vegetable matter, vegetable kingdom. It comes from Latin vegetabilis (animated) and from vegetare (enliven), which is derivative from vegetus (active), in reference to the process of a plant growing. This in turn derives from the Proto-Indo-European base , which is also the source of the English wake, meaning "not sleep". The declaration vegetable was earliest recorded in print in English in the 14th century. The meaning of "plant grown for food" was not recognized until the 18th century.

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