verb (used with object), cur·ried, cur·ry·ing.
to dress (tanned hides) by soaking, scraping, beating, coloring, etc.
to beat; thrash.
curry favor, to seek to advance oneself through flattery or fawning: His fellow workers despised him for currying favor with the boss.
Origin of curry2
1250–1300; Middle English cor(r)ayen, cor(r)eyen
< Anglo-French curreier,
cognate with Old French correer,
to make ready < Vulgar Latin *conrēdāre;
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for curry favor
noun plural -ries
a spicy dish of oriental, esp Indian, origin that is made in many ways but usually consists of meat or fish prepared in a hot piquant sauce
curry seasoning or sauce
give someone curry Australian slang to assault (a person) verbally or physically
verb -ries, -rying or -ried
(tr) to prepare (food) with curry powder or sauce
Word Origin for curry
C16: from Tamil kari sauce, relish
verb -ries, -rying or -ried (tr)
to beat vigorously, as in order to clean
to dress and finish (leather) after it has been tanned to make it strong, flexible, and waterproof
to groom (a horse)
curry favour to ingratiate oneself, esp with superiors
Word Origin for curry
C13: from Old French correer to make ready, from Vulgar Latin conrēdāre (unattested), from rēdāre (unattested) to provide, of Germanic origin
John (Anthony). 1949–94, British ice skater: won the figure-skating gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Games
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 curry favor
early 16c., altered by folk etymology from curry favel (c.1400) from Old French correier fauvel "to be false, hypocritical," literally "to curry the chestnut horse," which in medieval French allegories was a symbol of cunning and deceit. See curry (v.). Old French fauvel is from a Germanic source and ultimately related to fallow (adj.); the sense here is entangled with that of similar-sounding Old French favele "lying, deception," from Latin fabella, diminutive of fabula (see fable (n.)).
late 13c., "to rub down a horse," from Anglo-French curreier "to curry-comb a horse," from Old French correier "put in order, prepare, curry," from con-, intensive prefix (see com-), + reier "arrange," from a Germanic source (see ready). Related: Curried; currying.
the spice, 1680s, from Tamil kari "sauce, relish for rice."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
“Currying favor” with someone means trying to ingratiate oneself by fawning over that person: “The ambassador curried favor with the dictator by praising his construction projects.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with curry favor
Seek gain or advancement by fawning or flattery, as in Edith was famous for currying favor with her teachers. This expression originally came from the Old French estriller fauvel, “curry the fallow horse,” a beast that in a 14th-century allegory stood for duplicity and cunning. It came into English about 1400 as curry favel—that is, curry (groom with a currycomb) the animal—and in the 1500s became the present term.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.