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[chil-ee] /ˈtʃɪl i/
noun, plural chillies.


or chile, chilli

[chil-ee] /ˈtʃɪl i/
noun, plural chilies.
Also called chili pepper. the pungent pod of any of several species of Capsicum, especially C. annuum longum: used in cooking for its pungent flavor.
a meatless version of chili con carne.
Origin of chili
1655-65; < Mexican Spanish chile < Nahuatl chīlli chili pepper
Can be confused
Chile, chili, chilly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chilli
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is the chilli; the pepper-pods of that name, a species of capsicum; the guinea-pepper.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • The Mexican word for this last is chilli, for water it is "atl."

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • Have you eaten those long ‘chilli’ peppers instead of confining yourself to the smaller kinds?

    Fetichism in West Africa Robert Hamill Nassau
  • Polpi alla Luciana are small octopi stewed in an earthern pot with oil, tomatoes, chilli, and red wine.

British Dictionary definitions for chilli


noun (pl) chillies, chilies
the small red hot-tasting pod of a type of capsicum used for flavouring sauces, pickles, etc
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish chile, from Nahuatl chilli
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chilli



also chilli, 1660s, from Nahuatl chilli, native name for the peppers. Not named for the South American country. As short for chile con carne and similar dishes, attested by 1846.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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