1 : to lead a passive existence without exertion of body or mind
2 a : to grow in the manner of a plant; also : to grow exuberantly or with proliferation of fleshy or warty outgrowths
b : to produce vegetation
: to establish vegetation in or on
borrowed from Late Latin vegetātus, past participle of vegetāre “to live, grow,” going back to Latin, “to impart energy to, invigorate,” verbal derivative of vegetus “vigorous, active, lively,” probably, if from *vegitus, verbal adjective of vegēre “to give vigor to, enliven” — more at 1wake.
Basic backformation accounts for the transitive sense, and the intransitive senses 2 a and b definitely align with the word’s etymology. However, the origin cited in Merriam-Webster and its connotations—specifically “‘vigorous, active, lively’”—seems to me the antithesis of the intransitive sense 1.
Could someone shed some light on this discrepancy?