• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. a signed note for money owed for food, drink, etc.
  2. any receipt, voucher, or similar document, especially of an informal nature.
  3. Chiefly British. a note; short memorandum.

Origin of chit1

1775–85; short for chitty < Hindi chiṭṭī


  1. a child or young person, especially a pert girl.

Origin of chit2

1350–1400; for sense of “the young of an animal”; 1615–25 for current sense; Middle English; perhaps akin to kitten or kid1


noun Hinduism.
  1. cit.


or chit

noun Hinduism.
  1. pure consciousness.

Origin of cit

From Sanskrit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chits

Historical Examples

  • I, myself, could show a handful of his chits for meals and drinks in my drawer.


    Joseph Conrad

  • Lisle noticed that he often paid in chits, instead of money.

  • Night-marching in sleet and wind is not for chits of seventeen.

  • Do you think my lady has nought to do but attend to the whimsies of chits like you?

    Penshurst Castle

    Emma Marshall

  • Probably not—but that does not console Lieut. —— for the loss of his chits.

    Up the Country

    Emily Eden

British Dictionary definitions for chits


  1. a voucher for a sum of money owed, esp for food or drink
  2. Also called: chitty (ˈtʃɪtɪ) mainly British
    1. a note or memorandum
    2. a requisition or receipt

Word Origin

C18: from earlier chitty, from Hindi cittha note, from Sanskrit citra brightly-coloured


  1. facetious, or derogatory a pert, impudent, or self-confident girl or childa young chit of a thing

Word Origin

C14 (in the sense: young of an animal, kitten): of obscure origin


abbreviation for (in New Zealand)
  1. Central Institute of Technology
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

Word Origin and History for chits



"note," 1776, short for chitty, from Mahrati (Hindi) chitthi "letter, note," from Sanskrit chitra-s "distinctively marked" (cf. cheetah).



"small child," 1620s, originally "young of a beast" (late 14c.); unrelated to chit (n.1); perhaps a playful deformation of kitten, but the "Middle English Dictionary" compares Old High German kizzin "kid."



colloquial shortening of citizen, 1640s; contrasted to a countryman or a gentleman, usually with some measure of opprobrium (Johnson defines it as "A pert low townsman; a pragmatical trader").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper