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[koh-sher] /ˈkoʊ ʃər/
  1. fit or allowed to be eaten or used, according to the dietary or ceremonial laws:
    kosher meat; kosher dishes; a kosher tallith.
  2. adhering to the laws governing such fitness:
    a kosher restaurant.
  1. proper; legitimate.
  2. genuine; authentic.
Informal. kosher food:
Let's eat kosher tonight.
verb (used with object)
Judaism. to make kosher:
to kosher meat by salting.
keep kosher, to adhere to the dietary laws of Judaism.
Also, kasher.
Origin of kosher
1850-55; 1920-25 for def 2; < Yiddish < Hebrew kāshēr right, fit
Related forms
nonkosher, adjective, noun
unkosher, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for kosher
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the best there would be no kosher food in the house any more.

    Ghetto Comedies

    Israel Zangwill
  • Show a treif gendarme a kosher coin, and he will be shivering with ague.

    The Imported Bridegroom Abraham Cahan
  • In Ramsgate I enjoy myself; there's a kosher butcher, and all the people I know.

    Ghetto Tragedies Israel Zangwill
  • The next time I saw the manager I asked him about sausage and kosher meat, and he scowled.

  • The same way with the kosher meat idea: his business was the packing business, and the firm wasn't trying any ventures.

British Dictionary definitions for kosher


(Judaism) conforming to religious law; fit for use: esp, (of food) prepared in accordance with the dietary laws See also kasher, kashruth
  1. genuine or authentic
  2. legitimate or proper
Word Origin
C19: from Yiddish, from Hebrew kāshēr right, proper
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 kosher

"ritually fit or pure" (especially of food), 1851, from Yiddish kosher, from Hebrew kasher "fit, proper, lawful," from base of kasher "was suitable, proper." Generalized sense of "correct, legitimate" is from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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kosher in Culture

kosher definition

Food that is permitted according to a set of dietary restrictions found in the Old Testament. For many Jews, foods that are not kosher cannot be eaten. The term can also be used colloquially to mean anything acceptable: “I don't think it's kosher to yell at your chess opponent when he is thinking about his next move.”

kosher definition

The descriptive term in Judaism for food and other objects that are clean according to its laws. These laws are contained in the Torah and forbid, for example, the eating of pork or shellfish, the mixing of dairy products and meat, and certain methods of slaughtering animals.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for kosher



Proper; as it should be; legitimate: Everything looks kosher

[1896+; fr Yiddish fr Hebrew kasher, ''fit, proper'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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