asparagus


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as·par·a·gus

 (ə-spăr′ə-gəs)
n.
1. The tender young shoots of the plant Asparagus officinalis, eaten as a vegetable.
2. Any of various perennial plants of the genus Asparagus of Eurasia and Africa, having leaflike stems, scalelike leaves, and small flowers.

[Late Middle English sperage, sparage, from Medieval Latin sparagus, from Latin asparagus, from Greek aspharagos, asparagos.]
Word History: After the rebirth of classical learning during the Renaissance, Greek and Latin achieved a lofty status among the educated. As a result, etymologists and spelling reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries tried to give English a classical look by Latinizing or Hellenizing the spelling of words that had Latin or Greek ancestry (and even some that didn't). For example, Medieval Latin had a word sparagus, from Classical Latin asparagus, that was borrowed into Middle English and rendered as sparage or, more commonly, sperage. Botanists were familiar with the proper Latin version asparagus, and their use of that term together with the efforts of the etymologists caused the Latin form to become more widespread, eventually supplanting sperage. In the 1600s, however, asparagus was shortened in popular speech to 'sparagus, and reanalyzed—this time by amateur etymologists—as sparagrass or sparrowgrass. These variants gained wide acceptance during the 18th century, largely relegating asparagus to the field of botany. Asparagus eventually found its way back into common use during the 19th century. Thus, it is difficult to say whether the Modern English word asparagus is a direct descendant of Middle English sperage or a borrowing directly from Latin—a difficulty one encounters with hundreds of other words whose spellings and even pronunciations were Latinized during this time.

asparagus

(əˈspærəɡəs)
n
1. (Plants) any Eurasian liliaceous plant of the genus Asparagus, esp the widely cultivated A. officinalis, having small scaly or needle-like leaves
2. (Plants) the succulent young shoots of A. officinalis, which may be cooked and eaten
3. (Plants) asparagus fern a fernlike species of asparagus, A. plumosus, native to southern Africa
[C15: from Latin, from Greek asparagos, of obscure origin]

as•par•a•gus

(əˈspær ə gəs)

n.
1. any plant of the genus Asparagus, of the lily family, esp. A. officinalis, cultivated for its edible shoots.
2. the shoots, eaten as a vegetable.
[1540–50; < Latin < Greek asp(h)áragos]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.asparagus - plant whose succulent young shoots are cooked and eaten as a vegetableasparagus - plant whose succulent young shoots are cooked and eaten as a vegetable
asparagus - edible young shoots of the asparagus plant
herb, herbaceous plant - a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests
genus Asparagus - large genus of Old World perennial herbs with erect or spreading or climbing stems and small scalelike leaves and inconspicuous flowers; sometimes placed in family Asparagaceae
2.asparagus - edible young shoots of the asparagus plantasparagus - edible young shoots of the asparagus plant
veg, vegetable, veggie - edible seeds or roots or stems or leaves or bulbs or tubers or nonsweet fruits of any of numerous herbaceous plant
asparagus, Asparagus officinales, edible asparagus - plant whose succulent young shoots are cooked and eaten as a vegetable
Translations
chřest
asparges
parsa
šparoga
spárga
アスパラガス
아스파라거스
sparris
หน่อไม้ฝรั่ง
măng tây

asparagus

[əsˈpærəgəs]
A. N (= plant) → espárrago m; (= food) → espárragos mpl
B. CPD asparagus tips NPLpuntas fpl de espárrago

asparagus

[əˈspærəgəs] nasperges fplasparagus tips nplpointes fpl d'asperges

asparagus

n no plSpargel m

asparagus

[əsˈpærəgəs] n (plant) → asparago; (food) → asparagi mpl

asparagus

الهِلْيَوْن chřest asparges Spargel σπαράγγι espárrago parsa asperge šparoga asparago アスパラガス 아스파라거스 asperge asparges szparag aspargo, espargo спаржа sparris หน่อไม้ฝรั่ง kuşkonmaz măng tây 芦笋

asparagus

n espárrago
References in classic literature ?
Oh, there's corned beef and plenty of poatoes, and I shall get some asparagus and a lobster, `for a relish', as Hannah says.
I had seen ice on the little horsepond that morning, and as we went through the garden we found the tall asparagus, with its red berries, lying on the ground, a mass of slimy green.
In one corner stood a huge bag of wool, ready to be spun; in another, a quantity of linsey-woolsey just from the loom; ears of Indian corn, and strings of dried apples and peaches, hung in gay festoons along the walls, mingled with the gaud of red peppers; and a door left ajar gave him a peep into the best parlor, where the claw-footed chairs and dark mahogany tables shone like mirrors; andirons, with their accompanying shovel and tongs, glistened from their covert of asparagus tops; mock- oranges and conch - shells decorated the mantelpiece; strings of various-colored birds eggs were suspended above it; a great ostrich egg was hung from the centre of the room, and a corner cupboard, knowingly left open, displayed immense treasures of old silver and well-mended china.
It was a bountiful meal--there were baked beans and mashed potatoes and asparagus chopped and stewed, and a dish of strawberries, and great, thick slices of bread, and a pitcher of milk.
One vegetable--brought on in state, and all alone--usually insipid lentils, or string-beans, or indifferent asparagus.
The baked apples and biscuits, excellent in their way, you know; but there was a delicate fricassee of sweetbread and some asparagus brought in at first, and good Mr.
One morning the gardener went to him and told him, as if to please him, that he was going to plant a bed of asparagus for his especial use.
Now, as not so much as a head of asparagus ever presumed to poke itself out of the ground, without the especial permission of Ceres, you may conceive what a terrible calamity had here fallen upon the earth.
He looked about the table, and guessed at the inexorableness of his captors from the tone in which, over the asparagus from Florida, they were dealing with Beaufort and his wife.
The brook, of which the banks were clothed with dense masses of a gigantic species of maidenhair fern interspersed with feathery tufts of wild asparagus, sung merrily at our side, the soft air murmured through the leaves of the silver trees, doves cooed around, and bright-winged birds flashed like living gems from bough to bough.
He had seen grapes in the dining-room that must have cost at least eight shillings a pound; and at luncheon he had been given asparagus two months before it was ready in the vicarage garden.
Hill, florist and greengrocer (they soon discovered that there was money in asparagus; and asparagus led to other vegetables), had an air which stamped the business as classy; and in private life he was still Frederick Eynsford Hill, Esquire.

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