Etymology
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vegetable (adj.)
early 15c., "capable of life or growth; growing, vigorous;" also "neither animal nor mineral, of the plant kingdom, living and growing as a plant," from Old French vegetable "living, fit to live," and directly from Medieval Latin vegetabilis "growing, flourishing," from Late Latin vegetabilis "animating, enlivening," from Latin vegetare "to enliven," from vegetus "vigorous, enlivened, active, sprightly," from vegere "to be alive, active, to quicken," from PIE root *weg- "to be strong, be lively." The meaning "resembling that of a vegetable, dull, uneventful; having life such as a plant has" is attested from 1854 (see vegetable (n.)).
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vegetable (n.)
mid-15c., "non-animal life," originally any plant, from vegetable (adj.); specific sense of "plant cultivated for food, edible herb or root" is first recorded 1767. Meaning "person who leads a monotonous life" is recorded from 1921; sense of "one totally incapacitated mentally and physically" is from 1976.

The Old English word was wyrt (see wort). The commonest source of words for vegetables in Indo-European languages are derivatives of words for "green" or "growing" (compare Italian, Spanish verdura, Irish glasraidh, Danish grøntsager). For a different association, compare Greek lakhana, related to lakhaino "to dig."
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leafy (adj.)
1550s, from leaf (n.) + -y (2). Related: Leafily; leafiness.
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herb (n.)
c. 1300, erbe "non-woody plant," especially a leafy vegetable used for human food, from Old French erbe "grass, herb, plant fed to animals" (12c., Modern French herbe), from Latin herba "grass, an herb; herbage, turf, weeds" (source also of Spanish yerba, Portuguese herva, Italian erba). The form of the English word was refashioned after Latin since 15c., but the h- was mute until 19c. Slang meaning "marijuana" is attested from 1960s. The native word is wort.
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chiffonade (n.)

also chiffonnade, food preparation technique, 1847, from French chiffonade, from chiffon (see chiffon) + -ade. In reference to the condition of the leafy stuff after it is so treated.

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foliate (adj.)
1620s, "beaten into thin sheets," from Medieval Latin foliatus "leaved, leafy," from Latin folium "a leaf" (see folio). As "leaf-like" from 1650s.
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veggie (n.)
slang shortening of vegetable (n.), 1976; earlier vegie (1955). Related: Veggies.
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foliate (v.)
1660s (implied in foliated), "to apply silver leaf," from Medieval Latin foliatus "leaved, leafy," from Latin folium "a leaf" (see folio). Meaning "put forth leaves" is from 1775. Related: Foliated; foliating.
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vegetal (adj.)
c. 1400, from Medieval Latin *vegetalis, from Latin vegetare (see vegetable (adj.)).
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