Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A strong-scented plant (Pastinaca sativa) cultivated for its long, white, edible, fleshy root.
  • n. The root of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A biennial plant, Pastinaca sativa, related to the carrot.
  • n. The root of the parsnip, when used as a vegetable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The aromatic and edible spindle-shaped root of the cultivated form of the Pastinaca sativa, a biennial umbelliferous plant which is very poisonous in its wild state; also, the plant itself.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A biennial plant, Peucedanum (Pastinaca) sativum, native through temperate Europe and part of Asia, and widely cultivated in gardens, thence again running wild.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. whitish edible root; eaten cooked
  • n. the whitish root of cultivated parsnip
  • n. a strong-scented plant cultivated for its edible root

Etymologies

Middle English pasnepe, alteration (influenced by nep, turnip) of Old French pasnaie, from Latin pastināca, from pastinum, a kind of two-pronged dibble.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
16th century parsnepe, from Middle English passenep, corruption of a borrowing of Old French pasnaie by influence of nepe ("turnip"), from Latin pastinaca ("parsnip, carrot"), from pastinum ("two-pronged fork"); related to pastinare ("to dig up the ground"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One thing I noted with the parsnip, is that it starts going brown on the outside before Christmas.

    Growing winter vegetables

  • Hahahaha, I really can't stop laughing when I type the word parsnip now!

    sheepdip Diary Entry

  • The water-parsnip, which is poisonous, is said to be sometimes gathered for watercress; but the palate must be dull, one would think, to eat it, and the smell is a sure test.

    Round About a Great Estate

  • CHEF Ben Moss is used to being known as a 'parsnip', a name he's had since he started his vegetarian cookery company The Parsnipship nearly five years ago.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • Before the fabulous albino root known as the parsnip disappears, I thought I would send along a recipe that is easy to make, although it takes a while to bake.

    Everydaystranger

  • So I've decided to allow one parsnip, which is a biennial, to go to seed this year, just so I can observe its natural cycle.

    Garden Rant

  • And all this in the middle of winter, for the parsnip is the winter root par excellence.

    The Guardian World News

  • It’s just the idea of parsnip in a mulligatawny which I rather balk at.

    Chris Neill's Dirty Kitchen

  • Turnip Transformation: The blue path through this edit graph shows the shortest way to transform "parsnip" into "turnip."

    DevX: Latest Published Articles

  • Opened just two years ago on Thanksgiving Day, they will again offer a three-course meal including dishes such as parsnip soup, blackened rib-eye steak and pecan maple tart.

    Londonist

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