parsnip

parsnip
/pahr"snip/, n.
1. a plant, Pastinaca sativa, cultivated varieties of which have a large, whitish, edible root.
2. the root of this plant.
[1350-1400; earlier pars(e)nep, pass(e)nep, ME pas(t)nep(e) < L past(inaca) parsnip (deriv. of pastinum forked dibble) + ME nep turnip; see NEEP]

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Plant (Pastinaca sativa) of the parsley family, cultivated for its large, tapering, fleshy, edible white root, which has a distinctive, sweet flavour and is usually served as a cooked vegetable.

At the end of summer the solids of the root consist largely of starch, but a period of low temperature changes much of the starch to sugar. The root is hardy and not damaged by hard freezing of the soil. Native to Britain, Europe, and temperate Asia, the parsnip has become extensively naturalized in North America.

Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa).

G.R. Roberts

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      (species Pastinaca sativa), member of the parsley family (Apiaceae), cultivated since ancient times for its large, tapering, fleshy white root, which is edible and has a distinctive flavour. The root is found on roadsides and in open places in Great Britain and throughout Europe and temperate Asia. It was introduced in the Americas early in the 17th century and has become extensively naturalized in North America.

      Parsnip seed is sown in the spring, thinly in rows about a half metre apart, and the plants are thinned to stand 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 inches) apart in the row. At the end of summer the solids of the root consist largely of starch, but a period of low temperature changes much of the starch to sugar. The root is hardy and not damaged by hard freezing of the soil. It is sweet in flavour and is usually served as a cooked vegetable.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Parsnip — Pars nip (p[aum]rs n[i^]p), n. [OE. parsnepe, from a French form, fr. L. pastinaca; cf. pastinare to dig up, pastinum a kind of dibble; cf. OF. pastenade, pastenaque.] (Bot.) The aromatic and edible spindle shaped root of the cultivated form of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parsnip — (n.) 16c., parsnepe, corruption (by influence of Middle English nepe turnip ) of M.E. passenep (late 14c.), from O.Fr. pasnaie, from L. pastinaca parsnip, carrot, from pastinum two pronged fork (related to pastinare to dig up the ground ) so… …   Etymology dictionary

  • parsnip — ► NOUN ▪ the long tapering cream coloured root of a plant of the parsley family, eaten as a vegetable. ORIGIN Old French pasnaie, from Latin pastinaca; the change in ending was influenced by NEEP(Cf. ↑N) …   English terms dictionary

  • parsnip — [pärs′nip΄] n. [ME pasnepe, altered (infl. by nepe, turnip) < OFr pasnaie < L pastinaca < pastinare, to dig up < pastinum, two forked dibble] 1. a biennial plant (Pastinaca sativa) of the umbel family, with yellow flowers and a long,… …   English World dictionary

  • Parsnip — Taxobox name = Parsnip image width = 250px image caption = A selection of parsnips regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Apiales familia = Apiaceae genus = Pastinaca species = P. sativa binomial = Pastinaca… …   Wikipedia

  • parsnip — UK [ˈpɑː(r)snɪp] / US [ˈpɑrsnɪp] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms parsnip : singular parsnip plural parsnips a long white hard vegetable that grows under the ground …   English dictionary

  • parsnip — noun a) A biennial plant, Pastinaca sativa, related to the carrot. b) The root of the parsnip, when used as a vegetable …   Wiktionary

  • parsnip — pars|nip [ parsnıp ] noun count or uncount a long white hard vegetable that grows under the ground …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • parsnip — [14] The Romans called the ‘parsnip’ (and the ‘carrot’) pastināca. This was a derivative of pastinum, a term for a sort of small two pronged fork, inspired no doubt by the forked appearance of some examples of the vegetable. In Old French the… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • parsnip — [[t]pɑ͟ː(r)snɪp[/t]] parsnips N COUNT A parsnip is a long cream coloured root vegetable …   English dictionary

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