• synonyms


  1. a small bulbous plant, Allium schoenoprasum, related to the leek and onion, having long, slender leaves that are used as a seasoning.
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Origin of chive

1350–1400; Middle English cive < Anglo-French chive, Old French civeLatin caepa onion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chive

Historical Examples

  • "Only a prince and a chive," said the man, disgustedly, meaning my half-crown and a jack-knife.

    Jim Davis

    John Masefield

  • Add one chive, one cardamon, two cloves, half a nutmeg and salt to taste.

  • The chive rarely forms seeds, and it is propagated by the bulbs, which grow in clusters.

  • If small, serve whole; if large, cut them in one-half inch cubes and reheat in Chive Sauce.

    Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners

    Elizabeth O. Hiller

British Dictionary definitions for chive


  1. a small Eurasian purple-flowered alliaceous plant, Allium schoenoprasum, whose long slender hollow leaves are used in cooking to flavour soups, stews, etcAlso called: chives
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French cive, ultimately from Latin caepa onion
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 chive


c.1400, from Old North French chive (Old French, Modern French cive, 13c.), from Latin cepa "onion" (see onion).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper