Veg"e*ta*ble(?), n. 1. (Biol.) A plant. See Plant.
2. A plant used or cultivated for food for man or domestic animals, as the cabbage, turnip, potato, bean, dandelion, etc.; also, the edible part of such a plant, as prepared for market or the table.
3. A person who has permanently lost consciousness, due to damage to the brain, but remains alive; sometimes continued life requires support by machinery such as breathing tubes. Such a person is said to be in a vegetative state.
Vegetables and fruits are sometimes loosely distinguished by the usual need of cooking the former for the use of man, while the latter may be eaten raw; but the distinction often fails, as in the case of quinces, barberries, and other fruits, and lettuce, celery, and other vegetables. Tomatoes if cooked are vegetables, if eaten raw are fruits.
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