• synonyms


noun, plural chil·lies.
  1. chili.
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or chil·e, chil·li

noun, plural chil·ies.
  1. 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.
  2. chili con carne.
  3. a meatless version of chili con carne.
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Origin of chili

1655–65; < Mexican Spanish chile < Nahuatl chīlli chili pepper
Can be confusedChile chili chilly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.


    Charles Reginald Enock

  • The Mexican word for this last is chilli, for water it is "atl."

  • 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 plural chillies or chilies
  1. the small red hot-tasting pod of a type of capsicum used for flavouring sauces, pickles, etc
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper