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[kech-uh p, kach-] /ˈkɛtʃ əp, ˈkætʃ-/
a condiment consisting of puréed tomatoes, onions, vinegar, sugar, spices, etc.
any of various other condiments or sauces for meat, fish, etc.:
mushroom ketchup; walnut ketchup.
Also, catchup, catsup.
dialectal Chinese
1705-15; < Malay kəchap fish sauce, perhaps < dialectal Chinese kéjāp (Guangdong) or ke-tsiap (Xiamen), akin to Chinese qié eggplant + chī juice Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for ketchup
  • New coating should make it easier to get more ketchup or mayonnaise out of the containers.
  • Well, now we're heading for a similar ketchup effect for real functioning renewable technologies.
  • If you are looking in your fridge for the ketchup bottle, you go over and over and can't find it.
  • The ketchup, red and decadent, embedded with little flecks of grated onion.
  • They smothered their food with tomato ketchup and slopped it all over the bed.
  • Perhaps education is more important than ketchup leaving a bottle.
  • Or dipping excellently crispy crinkle-cut fries into ketchup.
  • Heinz makes the default ketchup the dominant ketchup.
  • The world really doesn't need purple ketchup, blueberry vodka or talking toasters.
  • ketchup is the opposite: its viscosity decreases under pressure.
British Dictionary definitions for ketchup


any of various piquant sauces containing vinegar tomato ketchup
Word Origin
C18: from Chinese (Amoy) kōetsiap brine of pickled fish, from kōe seafood + tsiap sauce
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 ketchup
1711, from Malay kichap, from Chinese (Amoy dial.) koechiap "brine of fish." Catsup (earlier catchup) is a failed attempt at Anglicization, still in use in U.S. Originally a fish sauce, early English recipes included among their ingredients mushrooms, walnuts, cucumbers, and oysters. Modern form of the sauce began to emerge when U.S. seamen added tomatoes.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for ketchup


seasoned pureed condiment widely used in the United States and Great Britain. American ketchup is a sweet puree of tomatoes, onions, and green peppers flavoured with vinegar and pickling spice that is eaten with meats, especially beef, and frequently with french fried potatoes (British chips); it is the universal condiment of certain fast-food sandwiches. In Britain, as formerly in the United States, ketchup is a puree based on mushrooms, unripe walnuts, or oysters; this ketchup functions primarily as a seasoning for cooking. The word derives from the Chinese ke-tsiap, a fish brine, probably by way of the Malaysian ketjap

Learn more about catsup with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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