What does the word vegetate mean?

Usage examples for vegetate

  1. I am constantly asking myself which is better,- our old Europe, where the man of exceptional gifts can give himself absolutely to study, opening thus a wider horizon for the human mind, while at his side thousands barely vegetate in degradation or at least in destitution; or this new world, where the institutions tend to keep all on one level as part of the general mass,- but a mass, be it said, which has no noxious elements. – Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence by Louis Agassiz
  2. These soon vegetate, and bear fruit in great quantities; so what with their usurpation of the resources of the fig- tree, and the fig- tree of the mora, the mora, unable to support a charge which nature never intended it should, languishes and dies under its burden; and then the fig- tree, and its usurping progeny of vines, receiving no more succour from their late foster- parent, droop and perish in their turn. – Wanderings in South America by Charles Waterton