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

  • transitive v. To groom (a horse) with a currycomb.
  • transitive v. To prepare (tanned hides) for use, as by soaking or coloring.
  • idiom curry favor To seek or gain favor by fawning or flattery.
  • n. Curry powder.
  • n. A heavily spiced sauce or relish made with curry powder and eaten with rice, meat, fish, or other food.
  • n. A dish seasoned with curry powder.
  • transitive v. To season (food) with curry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of a family of dishes originating from South Asian cuisine, flavoured by a spiced sauce.
  • n. A spiced sauce or relish, especially one flavoured with curry powder.
  • n. Curry powder
  • v. To cook or season with curry powder.
  • v. To groom (a horse); to dress or rub down a horse with a curry comb
  • v. To dress (leather) after it is tanned by beating, rubbing, scraping and colouring
  • v. To beat, thrash; to drub
  • v. To try to win or gain (favour) by flattering.
  • v. To perform currying upon.
  • v. To scurry; to ride or run hastily.
  • v. To cover (a distance); (of a projectile) to traverse (its range).
  • v. To hurry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of sauce much used in India, containing garlic, pepper, ginger, and other strong spices.
  • n. A stew of fowl, fish, or game, cooked with curry.
  • transitive v. To dress or prepare for use by a process of scraping, cleansing, beating, smoothing, and coloring; -- said of leather.
  • transitive v. To dress the hair or coat of (a horse, ox, or the like) with a currycomb and brush; to comb, as a horse, in order to make clean.
  • transitive v. To beat or bruise; to drub; -- said of persons.
  • transitive v. To flavor or cook with curry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To rub and clean (a horse) with a comb; groom: sometimes used in contempt, with reference to a person.
  • Hence2. To stroke as if to soothe; flatter.
  • To dress or prepare (tanned hides) for use by soaking, skiving, shaving, scouring, coloring, graining, etc.
  • Figuratively, to beat; drub; thrash: as, to curry one's hide.
  • To flavor or prepare with curry.
  • n. A kind of sauce or relish, made of meat, fish, fowl, fruit, eggs, or vegetables, cooked with bruised spices, such as cayenne-pepper, coriander-seed, ginger, garlic, etc., with turmeric, much used in India and elsewhere as a relish or flavoring for boiled rice.

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

  • n. (East Indian cookery) a pungent dish of vegetables or meats flavored with curry powder and usually eaten with rice
  • v. treat by incorporating fat
  • v. season with a mixture of spices; typical of Indian cooking
  • v. give a neat appearance to


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

Middle English curreien, from Anglo-Norman curreier, to arrange, curry, from Vulgar Latin *conrēdāre : Latin com-, com- + Vulgar Latin *-rēdāre, to make ready (of Germanic origin; see reidh- in Indo-European roots). Curry favor, by folk etymology from Middle English currayen favel, from Old French correier fauvel, to curry a fallow-colored horse, be hypocritical (from the fallow horse as a medieval symbol of deceit).
Tamil kaṟi.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English currayen, from Old French correer 'to prepare', presumably from Vulgar Latin conredare, from com- (a form of con- 'together') + some Germanic base verb

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Haskell Curry, a computer scientist

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly derived from currier, a common 16-18th century form of courier, as if to ride post, to post. Possibly influenced by scurry.



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  • "Indian curries were also good for leftovers, generally using turmeric, ginger, stock, cream and, occasionally, a little lemon juice. As the taste for them spread inexorably, ready-mixed curry powders -- from the 1780s -- trounced the gentler flavours of mace and nutmeg so highly prized in the early decades of the century."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 216

    January 17, 2017

  • "Glasse had been the first in England to publish a recipe for 'Currey the India way' in the earliest edition of her book (1747). Adding browned and pulverised coriander seeds to a simple stew of pieces of fowl or rabbit with onions, salt and butter, she observed that the sauce must be reduced until it was 'pretty thick'. She added other dishes savouring of the East: the pillau -- or pellow -- based on slow-cooked rice that 'must be very thick and dry and not boiled to a Mummy', and 'Mutton the Turkish way', a stew of mutton with rice, turnips and ginger. Curry was the taste of the arrogant nabobs returning from positions with the East India Company, and as it grew more popular, Glasse updated her work, including in the fifth edition (1755) a recipe for 'Indian Pickle' that used a gallon of vinegar, a pound of garlic, long pepper, mustard seed, ginger and turmeric."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 209

    January 17, 2017

  • Usage/historical note (sorta) can be found on Archithrenius.

    December 3, 2016

  • The sense "groom" (verb) ultimately comes from Late Latin *con-red- "make ready", with a root borrowed from Germanic.

    (This is cognate with Spanish correios "couriers, post", familiar from stamps—and unrelated to 'courier'. The root also gives 'read' via a sense "advise", cf. German Rat. Its borrowing into Romance also occurs in 'array'.)

    The 'favour' in the idiom is a mediaeval eggcorn: it comes from 'curry Favel', a fallow horse, proverbial for being deceitful.

    March 6, 2009

  • (idiom) "curry favor": To seek or gain favor by fawning or flattery.

    March 6, 2009

  • 'Mother kept saying "I told you so. I

    told you he was a low type." I never

    ate their horrid curries, he never ate

    anything else and whisky, whisky -

    probably he got ulcers years ago,

    I hope he did and he's dead dead DEAD now.'

    - Peter Reading, Mem-sahib, from The Prison Cell and Barrel Mystery, 1976

    June 23, 2008

  • I thought that there were few things worse than the Ed School by this name, but this conversation is one of them.

    October 12, 2007

  • Unaficionados say "Eeeew."

    October 12, 2007

  • Oh god. *gack*

    October 12, 2007

  • Yeah! With a gap of 12 and 24 hours between the burns...

    October 11, 2007

  • Aficionados say a good curry burns twice.

    October 11, 2007

  • Is there any other sense?

    December 12, 2006

  • December 9, 2006