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[chou-der] /ˈtʃaʊ dər/
a thick soup or stew made of clams, fish, or vegetables, with potatoes, onions, and other ingredients and seasonings.
1735-45, Americanism; < French chaudière pot, kettle < Late Latin caldāria cauldron Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chowder
  • Likewise, the haddock tart was at once runny and lumpy-thin chowder spilled over a pastry shell.
  • Dining in the region offers specialties such as lobster and clam chowder, as well as many other types of cuisine.
  • The swordfish stew and clam chowder are local favorites.
  • Fish and chips, seafood rolls and homemade chowder is also available.
  • Area restaurants and caterers compete for the best clam chowder recipe.
  • While taking a break from whale watching, travelers can enjoy clam chowder, hot dogs and pizza on the ship.
  • The conch fritters and seafood chowder are menu favorites.
  • The menu offers small plate items such as carnitas tacos, corn chowder and squash blossom quesadillas.
  • The restaurant features live music on the patio and is popular for its lobster bisque soup and clam chowder.
  • According to anecdotal stories, a cauldron of fish chowder was always cooking in the galley of fishing boats.
British Dictionary definitions for chowder


a thick soup or stew containing clams or fish
Word Origin
C18: from French chaudière kettle, from Late Latin caldāria; see cauldron
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 chowder

1751, American English, apparently named for the pot it was cooked in: French chaudière "a pot" (12c.), from Late Latin caldaria (see caldron). The word and the practice introduced in Newfoundland by Breton fishermen, and spreading thence to New England.

CHOWDER. A favorite dish in New England, made of fish, pork, onions, and biscuit stewed together. Cider and champagne are sometimes added. Pic-nic parties to the sea-shore generally have a dish of chowder, prepared by themselves in some grove near the beach, from fish caught at the same time. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]
The derogatory chowderhead (1819) is a corruption of cholter-head (16c.), from jolthead, of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for chowder

in North American cuisine, hearty soup usually containing fish or shellfish, especially clams. The word chowder is a corruption of the French chaudiere ("cauldron"), and chowder may have originated among Breton fishermen who brought the custom to Newfoundland, whence it spread to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and New England. The standard New England-style chowder contains fish or shellfish, salt pork, onions, potatoes, and milk. Manhattan-style chowder replaces the milk with tomatoes. Eighteenth-century chowders were more varied; meat or poultry chowders were made, and wine, spices, herbs, cider, and other flavourings were often added. Pounded common crackers or ship biscuits served as thickening. In the Southern and Midwestern United States, fresh sweet corn (maize) often replaces the clams in chowder. Conch chowder is a specialty of Key West, Fla.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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