curry favor


2 [kur-ee, kuhr-ee]
verb (used with object), curried, currying.
to rub and clean (a horse) with a currycomb.
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.

1250–1300; Middle English cor(r)ayen, cor(r)eyen < Anglo-French curreier, cognate with Old French correer, earlier conreer to make ready < Vulgar Latin *conrēdāre; see corody Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
curry1 (ˈkʌrɪ)
n , pl -ries
1.  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
2.  curry seasoning or sauce
3.  slang (Austral) give someone curry to assault (a person) verbally or physically
vb , -ries, -ries, -rying, -ried
4.  (tr) to prepare (food) with curry powder or sauce
[C16: from Tamil kari sauce, relish]

curry2 (ˈkʌrɪ)
vb , -ries, -rying, -ried
1.  to beat vigorously, as in order to clean
2.  to dress and finish (leather) after it has been tanned to make it strong, flexible, and waterproof
3.  to groom (a horse)
4.  curry favour to ingratiate oneself, esp with superiors
[C13: from Old French correer to make ready, from Vulgar Latin conrēdāre (unattested), from rēdāre (unattested) to provide, of Germanic origin]

Curry (ˈkʌrɪ)
John (Anthony). 1949--94, British ice skater: won the figure-skating gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Games

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., "to rub down a horse," from Anglo-Fr. curreier "to curry-comb a horse," from O.Fr. correier "put in order, prepare, curry," from con- intens. prefix + reier "arrange," from a Gmc. source. The surviving sense of curry favor is c.1510, altered by folk etymology from curry favel (c.1400) from
O.Fr. correier fauvel "to be false, hypocritical," lit. "to curry the chestnut ('fawn-colored') horse," which in medieval French allegories was a symbol of cunning and deceit.

"spice," 1681, from Tamil kari "sauce, relish for rice."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

curry favor definition

“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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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 favelthat is, curry (groom with a currycomb) the animaland in the 1500s became the present term.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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