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From Middle English turnepe, probably from turn + Middle English nepe, from Old English nǣp, from Latin nāpus.[1] The component turn may be due to the round shape of the plant as though turned on a lathe, or because it must be turned and twisted to be harvested. Cognate to neep. See also parsnip.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɜː.nɪp/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɜ˞.nɪp/
  • (file)


turnip (plural turnips)

  1. The white root of a yellow-flowered plant, Brassica rapa, grown as a vegetable and as fodder for cattle.
  2. (Scotland, Ireland, Northern England, Cornwall, Atlantic Canada) The yellow root of a related plant, the swede or Brassica napus.
  3. (Hong Kong) The white root of Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, also known as a daikon.[2]
  4. (dated) A large, heavy pocket watch, so called because its profile resembled the vegetable.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  • German: Turnip
  • Irish: tornapa
  • Russian: турнепс (turneps)

See alsoEdit


turnip (third-person singular simple present turnips, present participle turniping or turnipping, simple past and past participle turniped or turnipped)

  1. (transitive) To plant with turnips.
    • 1803, Agricultural Magazine (volume 9, page 32)
      This identical field has been turniped before, and to good account, in a favourable winter.
  2. (transitive) To feed or graze (livestock) on turnips.
    • 1869, Sheep: Their Breeds, Management, and Diseases (page 328)
      The Leicesters and half-breds are purchased by farmers who keep no breeding stock: they are well turniped during the winter, and clipped and fattened in the following season.
    • 1898, John Wrightson, Sheep: Breeds and Management, page 86:
      This system of turniping is found to encourage the growth and muscular development of young stock.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “turnip”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ Cummings, Patrick J., and Hans-Georg Wolf. A Dictionary of Hong Kong English: Words from the Fragrant Harbor (p. 178). 1st ed., Hong Kong University Press, 2011.