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

  • n. Variant of congé.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Formal departure, ceremonial leave-taking.
  • n. A bow.
  • n. A type of thick rice porridge or soup, sometimes prepared with vegetables and/or meat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • See congé, conge.
  • n. Boiled rice; rice gruel.
  • n. A jail; a lockup.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To give leave or command to depart; dismiss; take leave of.
  • To take leave with the customary civilities.
  • To use ceremonious and respectful inclinations of the body; bow; salute.
  • n. Leave to depart; leave-taking; dismissal; congé.
  • n. An act of respect performed by persons on separating or taking leave; hence, a customary act of reverence or civility on other occasions; a bow or a courtesy.
  • n. In India, rice-water or -gruel; water in which rice has been boiled, much used in the diet of invalids.
  • n. Any gruel or similar food for invalids.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (architecture) a concave molding
  • v. depart after obtaining formal permission
  • n. formal permission to depart
  • n. an abrupt and unceremonious dismissal
  • v. perform a ceremonious bow
  • n. a Chinese rice gruel eaten for breakfast


From Old French congié (modern congé), from commeatus ("passage, permission to leave"), from commeo ("I go and come"), from con- + meo ("I go, I pass") (Wiktionary)
From Tamil, perhaps via Portuguese. (Wiktionary)


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  • The traditional Chinese rice porridge, called congee , will soon become a staple of hotel breakfast buffets in America and abroad as U.S.-based hotel chains compete for growing numbers of Chinese travelers.

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  • This creamy Chinese rice porridge—also known as congee—is a perfect cold-weather soup, and a fine vehicle for delicious add-ins.

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  • On a rainy winter morning in San Francisco, nothing beats a steaming hot bowl of jook, Asian-style rice porridge also known as congee, at Hing Lung in Chinatown.

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  • Rice porridge, called congee by the Chinese, is a favorite breakfast and is the best food to serve for those who are weak or unable to assimilate other foods.


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  • Yum Brands Inc. has had success in China with its KFC fried-chicken chain by offering menu items familiar to Chinese consumers, such as congee, or rice porridge, and the Dragon Twister, a sandwich wrap filled with chicken, Peking duck sauce, cucumbers and scallions.

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  • It says "congee" on the can--I thought that was odd.

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  • And whichever name you call it, it will still taste as good though I suspect the word "congee" sounds much more sophisticated and refined to be used.

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  • The modern usage of this word, that is a rice porridge needs to be first (as is the case in noad2) and the leave to depart usages labelled with archaic.

    May 14, 2013