I know*What's the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?

Ask Dr. Dictionary, a feature of, provides a succinct explanation:

A fruit is actually the sweet, ripened ovary or ovaries of a seed-bearing plant. A vegetable, in contrast, is an herbaceous plant cultivated for an edible part (seeds, roots, stems, leaves, bulbs, tubers, or nonsweet fruits). So, to be really nitpicky, a fruit could be a vegetable, but a vegetable could not be a fruit.

The Nutriquest team offers a similar answer, adding that most fruits are sweet because they contain a simple sugar called fructose, while most vegetables are less sweet because they have much less fructose. The sweetness of fruit encourages animals to eat it and thereby spread the seeds. The site also presents an interesting list of fruits that are often thought to be vegetables:

  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • squashes and zucchini
  • avocados
  • green, red, and yellow peppers
  • peapods
  • pumpkins
But hey, what about the nut? Well, according to our friends at The Straight Dope, a nut is actually a "a dry, one-seeded, usually oily fruit."

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