Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. A Chinese preserve of fruits, fruit peels, and ginger.
2. A relish consisting of chopped vegetables pickled in mustard.

[Pidgin English, possibly from reduplication of Cantonese zaap6, food, mixture; see chow2.]


1. (Breeds) a thick-coated breed of the spitz type of dog with a curled tail and a characteristic blue-black tongue; it came originally from China. Often shortened to: chow
2. (Cookery) a Chinese preserve of ginger, orange peel, etc in syrup
3. (Cookery) a mixed vegetable pickle
[C19: from pidgin English, probably based on Mandarin Chinese cha miscellaneous]

chow chow

(ˈtʃaʊ ˌtʃaʊ)

n. (often caps.)
one of a Chinese breed of medium-sized dogs with a stocky body, a large head, a thick coat forming a ruff around the neck, and a blue-black tongue.
[1785–95; said to be < dial. Chinese; compare Guangdong dial. gáu dog]


a relish of chopped mixed pickles in mustard sauce.
[1785–95; < Chinese Pidgin English]
References in classic literature ?
Chow-Chow, you bad little dog, come and you shall have your dinner.
Washee him piecie pants, chow-chow top-side -- see, John?
The next thing I know, I'm served 'Head cheese with Chow-Chow and Mustard'.
Bantayan's two-year-old chow-chow Sammy actually makes a cameo in the book.
Chef Starr nails this one with a centerpiece of tomato aspic, mixed greens, a killer homemade corn chow-chow, and green onion dressing.