from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A Chinese preserve of fruits, fruit peels, and ginger.
  • noun A relish consisting of chopped vegetables pickled in mustard.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Mixed; miscellaneous; broken.
  • noun Food of any kind, but especially Chinese food, which is usually broken or cut up in the course of cooking into pieces suitable for being eaten with chop-sticks.
  • noun A preserve made in southern China, of odds and ends of orange-peel, ginger, bamboo, pumelo-rind, syrup, etc.
  • noun A mixed pickle made with mustard in the East Indies, and imitated elsewhere.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun chopped pickles in mustard sauce.
  • noun a Chinese preserve of mixed fruits and ginger.
  • noun a breed of thick-coated medium-sized dogs with fluffy curled tails and distinctive blue-black tongues; believed to have originated in north China.
  • noun the last lighter containing the small sundry packages sent off to fill up a ship.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Pidgin English, possibly from reduplication of Cantonese zaap6, food, mixture; see chow.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word chow-chow.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.