Part of speech:
(Like “sleep,” “skydive,” and “succeed,” all intransitive verbs show complete action on their own and do not do action to an object. You sleep, you skydive, you succeed, and that’s it. You don’t “sleep a bed,” “skydive a plane,” or “succeed a plan”.
Likewise, something or someone vegetates.)
When you vegetate, you do nothing, and you're not putting your mind or body to use at all. (Like a vegetable, you don't think or move.)
"Vegetate" has other, more concrete meanings in the sciences: here's a list, if you're interested. Just be aware that in these more concrete senses, vegetation is a growth of living material--which is nearly opposite to our general abstract meaning of staying still and doing nothing.
vegetated, vegetating, vegetative
How to use it:
Usually, you'll talk about a person vegetating, either in a playful way ("We're vegetating with some Netflix and queso after work") or a serious way ("Holes in his work history make me wonder if he's just been vegetating for decades.")
You can be more abstract and talk about a thing, place, or idea vegetating: "Without any need to adapt or struggle, the small town vegetated, then withered."
Just because a student is sitting still and staring at a blank page doesn't mean she's vegetating. Be patient; she could be cooking up a wonderful idea for a story.
Twilight was a great series for reading while vegetating on the beach.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "vegetate" means when you can explain it without saying “sit around" or "be passive."
Think of a time you were annoyed by someone's failure to act or slowness to act, and fill in the blanks: "It irks me how _____ is/are just vegetating when (he/she/they) should be _____."
Example: "It irks me how I'm just vegetating when I should be working on any of the three projects I'm really excited about."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now;let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're reviewing recently featured words with some activities created with my favorite vocabulary software: Vocabulary Worksheet Factory, made by Schoolhouse Technologies. It's a simple, flexible program that lets you input word lists and definitions, then create customized, fun worksheets for review. We're starting off with very easy activities, then working our way toward harder reviews throughout the month.
Richard Anderson and colleagues: "The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children."
1. The opposite of VEGETATE is
2. According to one of his songs, Bruno Mars enjoys vegetating _____.
A. at dance parties
B. on the couch in a Snuggie
C. while driving expensive cars
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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