from The Century Dictionary.

  • To flavor or prepare with curry.
  • noun 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.
  • 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.

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

  • transitive verb To flavor or cook with curry.
  • transitive verb To dress or prepare for use by a process of scraping, cleansing, beating, smoothing, and coloring; -- said of leather.
  • transitive verb 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 verb To beat or bruise; to drub; -- said of persons.
  • transitive verb to seek to gain favor by flattery or attentions. See Favor, n.
  • noun (Cookery) A kind of sauce much used in India, containing garlic, pepper, ginger, and other strong spices.
  • noun A stew of fowl, fish, or game, cooked with curry.
  • noun (Cookery) a condiment used for making curry, formed of various materials, including strong spices, as pepper, ginger, garlic, coriander seed, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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.

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


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  • Is there any other sense?

    December 12, 2006

  • Aficionados say a good curry burns twice.

    October 11, 2007

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

    October 11, 2007

  • Oh god. *gack*

    October 12, 2007

  • Unaficionados say "Eeeew."

    October 12, 2007

  • 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

  • '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

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

    March 6, 2009

  • 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

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

    December 3, 2016

  • "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

  • "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