Meaning of “vegetarian” in the English Dictionary

"vegetarian" in British English

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vegetariannoun [ C ]

uk /ˌvedʒ.ɪˈteə.ri.ən/ us /-ˈter.i-/ UK informal veggie

B1 a person who does not eat meat for health or religious reasons or because they want to avoid being cruel to animals:

Of the four million people who have become vegetarians in this country, nearly two thirds are women.

More examples

  • Everyone I know likes the smell of bacon - even Mike does and he's a vegetarian.
  • You're a vegetarian and you eat fish?
  • I've been feeling much healthier since I became a vegetarian.
  • She's been a vegetarian for ten years now.
  • Don't tell him you're a vegetarian - it's like a red rag to a bull.
noun [ U ] us uk /-ə.nɪ.zəm/

Vegetarianism is becoming more popular among young people.


uk /ˌvedʒ.ɪˈteə.ri.ən/ us /-ˈter.i-/ informal veggie

B1 not eating or including meat:

vegetarian cooking/food
a vegetarian dish/meal
a vegetarian restaurant
She's recently gone/become vegetarian.

More examples

  • Their own-label vegetarian products have been a huge success.
  • The restaurant's very good for fish, but I'd give their vegetarian options a miss.
  • Some people prefer a vegetarian diet, while others prefer a meat-based diet.
  • David put me onto a wonderful vegetarian cookery book.
  • The policy of charging air travellers for vegetarian meals proved unpopular and has already been rescinded.

(Definition of “vegetarian” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"vegetarian" in American English

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vegetariannoun [ C ]

us /ˌvedʒ·ɪˈteər·i·ən/

a person who does not eat meat for health or for religious or moral reasons:

Some vegetarians avoid eggs and dairy products as well as meat.
adjective [ not gradable ] us /ˌvedʒ·ɪˈteər·i·ən/

a vegetarian diet
noun [ U ] us /ˌvedʒ·ɪˈteər·i·əˌnɪz·əm/

(Definition of “vegetarian” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)