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Fruit vs. Vegetable: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Fruits are seed-bearing structures from flowering plants, usually sweet; vegetables are other plant parts like roots, leaves, and stems, generally savory.
Fruit vs. Vegetable

Key Differences

Fruits are the mature ovaries of flowering plants, typically containing seeds, and are often sweet or tart in flavor. Vegetables, on the other hand, are a broader category including stems, leaves, roots, and even bulbs of plants, usually more savory or less sweet than fruits.
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Nov 17, 2023
In botanical terms, a fruit develops from the ovary after flowering, encompassing a wide range of foods like apples, berries, and tomatoes. Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed for their nutritional value and include items like spinach, carrots, and potatoes.
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Fruits often have a soft texture and are used in desserts, juices, and snacks due to their natural sweetness. Vegetables, contrastingly, are typically used in savory dishes, soups, and salads, and have a more varied range of textures from crunchy to leafy.
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The classification of fruit is based on botanical criteria, and some foods commonly thought of as vegetables, like tomatoes, are technically fruits. Vegetables do not have such a specific botanical definition and encompass a wider variety of plant parts.
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In culinary contexts, fruits are usually treated as part of sweet dishes or eaten raw as snacks. Vegetables, however, form the cornerstone of savory meal preparation, often requiring cooking or seasoning to enhance their flavors.
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Comparison Chart

Botanical Definition

Develops from the ovary of a flowering plant
Any other edible part of a plant
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Taste

Typically sweet or tart
Generally savory or less sweet
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Common Usage

Desserts, juices, snacks
Savory dishes, soups, salads
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Texture

Often soft or juicy
Ranges from crunchy to leafy
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Culinary Role

Often eaten raw or in sweet dishes
Typically cooked or used in savory dishes
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Fruit and Vegetable Definitions

Fruit

The sweet or tart product of a tree or other plant, containing seeds.
An apple is a popular type of fruit.
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Vegetable

Edible parts of plants like roots, leaves, and stems, used in cooking.
Potatoes are a starchy vegetable used in various cuisines.
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Fruit

A plant structure involved in reproduction, usually edible and sweet.
Cherries are my favorite summer fruit.
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Nov 16, 2023

Vegetable

Plants or parts of plants eaten as part of savory meals.
Asparagus is a vegetable often grilled or steamed.
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Fruit

The seed-bearing part of a plant, often colorful and sweetened.
Oranges are a citrus fruit rich in Vitamin C.
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Vegetable

An edible plant or part of a plant, typically savory and used in cooking.
Carrots are a nutritious vegetable commonly used in salads.
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Fruit

A mature ovary of a flowering plant, typically juicy and flavorful.
Strawberries are a fruit often used in desserts.
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Nov 16, 2023

Vegetable

A culinary term for plants or plant parts, often used in savory dishes.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable rich in iron.
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Fruit

The ripened ovary or ovaries of a seed-bearing plant, together with accessory parts, containing the seeds and occurring in a wide variety of forms.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegetable

Any part of a plant that is consumed for food, excluding sweet fruits.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable good for health.
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Fruit

An edible, usually sweet and fleshy form of such a structure.
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Vegetable

A plant cultivated for its edible parts, such as the roots of the beet, the leaves of spinach, the flower buds of broccoli, or the fruit or seeds of certain species, as beans, corn, and squash.
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Fruit

A part or an amount of such a plant product, served as food
Fruit for dessert.
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Vegetable

The edible part of such a plant.
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Fruit

The fertile, often spore-bearing structure of a plant that does not bear seeds.
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Vegetable

A member of the vegetable kingdom, especially a green plant.
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Fruit

A plant crop or product
The fruits of the earth.
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Vegetable

Offensive Slang One who is severely impaired mentally and physically, as by brain injury or disease.
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Fruit

Result; outcome
The fruit of their labor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegetable

Of, relating to, or derived from plants or a plant
Vegetable dyes.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fruit

Offspring; progeny.
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Vegetable

Made from or with edible plants or plant parts
Vegetable lasagna.
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Fruit

A fruity aroma or flavor in a wine.
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Vegetable

Growing or reproducing like a plant.
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Fruit

Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a gay man.
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Vegetable

Any plant.
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Fruit

To produce or cause to produce fruit.
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Vegetable

A plant raised for some edible part of it, such as the leaves, roots, fruit or flowers, but excluding any plant considered to be a fruit, grain, herb, or spice in the culinary sense.
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Fruit

In general, a product of plant growth useful to man or animals.
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Vegetable

The edible part of such a plant.
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Fruit

Specifically, a sweet and/or sour, edible part of a plant that resembles seed-bearing fruit see next sense, even if it does not develop from a floral ovary; also used in a technically imprecise sense for some sweet or sweetish petioles of rhubarb, that resemble a true fruit or are used in cookery as if they were a fruit.}}
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Vegetable

A person whose brain (or, infrequently, body) has been damaged so that they cannot interact with the surrounding environment; a person in a persistent vegetative state.
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Fruit

(botany) A product of fertilization in a plant, specifically:
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Vegetable

Of or relating to plants.
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Fruit

The seed-bearing part of a plant, often edible, colourful and fragrant, produced from a floral ovary after fertilization.
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Vegetable

Of or relating to vegetables.
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Fruit

The spores of cryptogams and their accessory organs.
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Vegetable

Of or pertaining to plants; having the nature of, or produced by, plants; as, a vegetable nature; vegetable growths, juices, etc.
Blooming ambrosial fruitOf vegetable gold.
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Fruit

An end result, effect, or consequence; advantageous or disadvantageous result.
His long nights in the office eventually bore fruit when his business boomed and he was given a raise.
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Vegetable

Consisting of, or comprising, plants; as, the vegetable kingdom.
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Fruit

(attributive) Of, belonging to, related to, or having fruit or its characteristics; of living things producing or consuming fruit.
Fresh-squeezed fruit juice
A fruit salad
An artificial fruit flavor
A fruit tree
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Vegetable

Plants having distinct flowers and true seeds.
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Fruit

A homosexual man; an effeminate man.
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Vegetable

A plant. See Plant.
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Fruit

(archaic) Offspring from a sexual union.
The litter was the fruit of the union between our whippet and their terrier.
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Vegetable

A plant used or cultivated for food for man or domestic animals, as the cabbage, turnip, potato, bean, dandelion, etc.; also, the edible part of such a plant, as prepared for market or the table.
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Fruit

(informal) A crazy person.
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Vegetable

A person who has permanently lost consciousness, due to damage to the brain, but remains alive; sometimes continued life requires support by machinery such as breathing tubes. Such a person is said to be in a vegetative state.
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Fruit

To produce fruit, seeds, or spores.
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Vegetable

Edible seeds or roots or stems or leaves or bulbs or tubers or nonsweet fruits of any of numerous herbaceous plant
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Fruit

Whatever is produced for the nourishment or enjoyment of man or animals by the processes of vegetable growth, as corn, grass, cotton, flax, etc.; - commonly used in the plural.
Six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in thefruits thereof.
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Vegetable

Any of various herbaceous plants cultivated for an edible part such as the fruit or the root of the beet or the leaf of spinach or the seeds of bean plants or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower
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Fruit

The pulpy, edible seed vessels of certain plants, especially those grown on branches above ground, as apples, oranges, grapes, melons, berries, etc. See 3.
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Vegetable

Of the nature of or characteristic of or derived from plants;
Decaying vegetable matter
A mineral deposit
Mineral water
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Fruit

The ripened ovary of a flowering plant, with its contents and whatever parts are consolidated with it.
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Fruit

The spore cases or conceptacles of flowerless plants, as of ferns, mosses, algae, etc., with the spores contained in them.
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Fruit

The produce of animals; offspring; young; as, the fruit of the womb, of the loins, of the body.
King Edward's fruit, true heir to the English crown.
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Fruit

That which is produced; the effect or consequence of any action; advantageous or desirable product or result; disadvantageous or evil consequence or effect; as, the fruits of labor, of self-denial, of intemperance.
The fruit of rashness.
What I obtained was the fruit of no bargain.
They shall eat the fruit of their doings.
The fruits of this education became visible.
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Fruit

To bear fruit.
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Fruit

The ripened reproductive body of a seed plant
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Fruit

The consequence of some effort or action;
He lived long enough to see the fruit of his policies
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Fruit

An amount of a product
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Fruit

Cause to bear fruit
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Fruit

Bear fruit;
The trees fruited early this year
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Fruit

Botanically, a matured ovary of a flower, often eaten as food.
Tomatoes are technically a fruit, not a vegetable.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is a fruit?

A fruit is a seed-bearing structure in flowering plants, usually edible and sweet.
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Nov 17, 2023

Why is tomato considered a fruit?

Botanically, tomatoes are fruits because they develop from the ovary of a flower and contain seeds.
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Nov 17, 2023

What is a vegetable?

A vegetable is any edible part of a plant, such as roots, leaves, or stems, typically savory.
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Nov 17, 2023

What are the health benefits of eating vegetables?

Vegetables are nutrient-rich, low in calories, and high in fiber, beneficial for overall health.
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Nov 17, 2023

What are the health benefits of eating fruits?

Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
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Can the same plant produce both fruits and vegetables?

Yes, a plant can produce both, like squash plants yielding squash (fruit) and squash blossoms (vegetable).
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Can fruits be used in savory dishes?

Yes, fruits like tomatoes and bell peppers are often used in savory dishes.
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Nov 17, 2023

Is corn a fruit or a vegetable?

Botanically, corn is a fruit, but it's commonly classified as a vegetable in culinary contexts.
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Nov 17, 2023

Are cucumbers fruits or vegetables?

Botanically, cucumbers are fruits, but they are often used as vegetables in cooking.
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Nov 17, 2023

Are there any vegetables that taste sweet?

Yes, some vegetables like sweet potatoes and beets have a naturally sweet taste.
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Nov 17, 2023

Are potatoes considered vegetables?

Yes, potatoes are starchy vegetables, commonly used in various cuisines.
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Nov 17, 2023

How do cooking methods affect the nutritional value of vegetables?

Cooking can affect nutrient levels, with methods like steaming preserving more nutrients than boiling.
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Nov 17, 2023

Can dried fruits substitute for fresh fruits?

Dried fruits can be a good substitute but often have higher sugar concentrations.
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Nov 17, 2023

Is it possible to be allergic to certain fruits or vegetables?

Yes, some people may have allergies to specific fruits or vegetables, like strawberries or bell peppers.
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Can eating fruits and vegetables help with weight loss?

Yes, their high fiber and water content can promote satiety and aid in weight management.
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Nov 17, 2023

Are all fruits sweet?

No, some fruits like avocados and tomatoes are not sweet.
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Nov 17, 2023

What's the difference in sugar content between fruits and vegetables?

Fruits generally have higher natural sugar content compared to vegetables.
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Nov 17, 2023

Can fruits be low in sugar?

Yes, fruits like avocados and berries can be low in sugar.
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Nov 17, 2023

What are legumes, and how do they differ from vegetables?

Legumes are a class of vegetables that include beans and peas, often higher in protein.
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Are mushrooms fruits or vegetables?

Neither, mushrooms are fungi, a separate category from plants.
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Nov 17, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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