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Turnip Vs. Radish: Meaning And Differences Of These Words

Turnip Vs. Radish: Meaning And Differences Of These Words

Turnip and radishes are cruciferous vegetables and belong to the mustard family. Though they have numerous usages, such as making medicines, skin products, and hair products, some people use them to spice up their food. The terms are often confused with each other because they share similar characteristics, but knowing about turnip vs. radish reveals what sets them apart.

Turnip is a biennial plant with edible hairy leaves and a round-like shape. This vegetable has three variant colors, white, yellow, and purple. On the other hand, radish is a pungent crisp root of a widely cultivated Eurasian plant. It can be eaten raw.

Turnip and radish are both root vegetables and similar looking, but they are not the same plant. We will highlight the main difference between these words, from their definitions to how to properly use them in your sentence.

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Definitions Of Turnip And Radish

Before getting to the definitions of turnip and radish, you should note that these are not common words. They are mainly used in the kitchen and when writing recipes. We will discuss the definition of these words below. Learning their meanings is the first step towards differentiating them.

Definitions Of Turnip

A turnip is a widely cultivated plant with more extensive, fleshy, edible white, yellow, and purplish roots. It is also the root of several members of the mustard family. The word turnip also refers to the entire Brassica rapa rapifera plants. 

Turnips belong to the brassica family, and it is grown in areas with temperate climates. Though they come in different varieties, humans only consume the small and tender types. The larger varieties are given to livestock to consume as food.

Fun fact: Turnip, used as “the turnip,” was a nickname that Winston Churchill’s grandfather gave to the pocket watch.

Definitions Of Radish

A radish is a plant’s crisp, spicy, and edible root; it is also the name used for the plant itself. Another definition is a small red or white vegetable of a plant’s root. They can be eaten raw in salads or buttered toasts. 

Radishes are from a family of crops that are known as Raphanus. They are edible root vegetables, and they are available worldwide. You can mix them with salads and sandwiches.

They also come in different varieties, sizes, and flavors, which makes it difficult to put them into one category. But the one thing that stands out about the various radish categories is that they have a sharp flavor which is why they are used in multiple dishes to help make the taste of the dish unique.

Fun fact: Radish is also a boy’s name and means freedom-loving and free-spirited.

How To Properly Use Turnip and Radish In A Sentence

How do you use turnip and radish in your sentences? What is the correct usage? If these are some questions you have about these words, read on to learn how to use turnip and radish in your sentences correctly.

How To Use The Word Turnip

The best way to learn how to use a word is by first learning its part of speech. Turnip is a noun, to be more specific, a proper noun. As a noun, it refers to a root with white or cream flesh eaten as a vegetable. It has edible leaves. 

Turnip (noun) is a European plant of the cabbage family that produces turnips. You can also use turnip to refer to a thickened underground stem of a plant that has stored starch. 

Also, use tarnish when referring to a mechanical or electronic device for showing and measuring time.

How To Use The Word Radish

Radish is a noun. Nouns words identify a class of people, places, or things. In the case of radish, it refers to a root vegetable and the plant which is grown. 

Radish is also the first name given to a boy. Though this name is found in many regions, it is common in India.

Turnip Vs. Radish: 5 Main Differences

Turnip and radish are similar-looking root vegetables. They are used in the making of salad and a variety of other dishes. But even though people confuse these two vegetables, they are not the same. Here are five differences you should know about these plants.


The exterior color of turnips ranges from white to purple, and the inside part is usually white. These plants can grow 2-3 inches, an ideal size for consumption; they are generally not too soft or too hard when you munch. 

On the other hand, radishes come in various colors, and the one you will get will depend on the variant. However, the standard variety is red radish. They can be either round or oval. Most measure about 0.78 inches to 1.2 inches.


When young, turnips have a sweetish taste similar to a carrot. However, their flavor becomes starchy as they get older, which is why they are fed to livestock. Note that the taste of these vegetables varies depending on how you eat them.

Young radishes are also sweet, so people enjoy eating them raw. However, as they get older, they become spicier, making it difficult for you to eat them raw. These vegetables are suitable for ingredient dishes since they produce a unique flavor that makes them stand out. Generally, cooked radishes are milder and sweeter compared to raw ones.

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Most farmers like growing radishes since they grow fast. The radishes take 20-22 days to completely grow and be ready for harvest, while turnips take 60 days to mature.


Though these plants look similar, their nutritional value is different. Turnips contain vitamins A, E, C, B3, B5, and B6. They also have vitamins and calcium. These constituents will help improve digestion and your heart’s health and strengthen bones.

Radishes are full of calcium, antioxidants, and fiber. They help impetus the metabolism and strengthen the immune system.


The other difference between these root vegetables is their healthy duration when stored. Turnips can last two weeks when stored in the refrigerator. When storing these vegetables, it is best to use a perforated bag.

A radish can last about a week in a refrigerator. However, before storing these plants, you should remove their leaves.

Bullet List Of Examples Of Turnip And Radish In Sentences

Now that you have understood the different definitions and usage of turnip and radish, it is time to have a look at how these words appear in sentences. Below are example sentences of turnip and radish to act as a guide.

Examples of the word turnip

  1. Turnip offers good nutrition to the malnourished.
  2. Add turnip, celery, pepper, and carrots, and cook for three minutes.
  3. Every guest enjoyed the turnip soup.
  4. I come from a village where almost every farm grows turnips.
  5. Would you like a turnip in your salad?

Examples of the word radish

  1. James is artistic; he curved an elephant out of a radish.
  2. The recipe required shredded radish, and I do not have any.
  3. Today is Radish’s birthday, and all his colleagues are excited to surprise him.
  4. Try to cut the radish thinly; I am using it to make a salad.
  5. The radish had gone bad, so we threw them away.


To be honest, vegetables can be confusing; some are big, others are small, and they come in various colors. Two vegetables that are often confused even by some chefs are turnip and radish. However, though they might have similar appearance and usage, these vegetables vary greatly. As discussed, there are five significant differences between these plants that you should know to tell them apart quickly.