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[koh-sher] /ˈkoʊ ʃər/
  1. fit or allowed to be eaten or used, according to the dietary or ceremonial laws:
    kosher meat; kosher dishes; a kosher tallith.
  2. adhering to the laws governing such fitness:
    a kosher restaurant.
  1. proper; legitimate.
  2. genuine; authentic.
Informal. kosher food:
Let's eat kosher tonight.
verb (used with object)
Judaism. to make kosher:
to kosher meat by salting.
keep kosher, to adhere to the dietary laws of Judaism.
Also, kasher.
1850-55; 1920-25 for def 2; < Yiddish < Hebrew kāshēr right, fit
Related forms
nonkosher, adjective, noun
unkosher, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for nonkosher


(Judaism) conforming to religious law; fit for use: esp, (of food) prepared in accordance with the dietary laws See also kasher, kashruth
  1. genuine or authentic
  2. legitimate or proper
Word Origin
C19: from Yiddish, from Hebrew kāshēr right, proper
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 nonkosher



"ritually fit or pure" (especially of food), 1851, from Yiddish kosher, from Hebrew kasher "fit, proper, lawful," from base of kasher "was suitable, proper." Generalized sense of "correct, legitimate" is from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nonkosher in Culture

kosher definition

Food that is permitted according to a set of dietary restrictions found in the Old Testament. For many Jews, foods that are not kosher cannot be eaten. The term can also be used colloquially to mean anything acceptable: “I don't think it's kosher to yell at your chess opponent when he is thinking about his next move.”

kosher definition

The descriptive term in Judaism for food and other objects that are clean according to its laws. These laws are contained in the Torah and forbid, for example, the eating of pork or shellfish, the mixing of dairy products and meat, and certain methods of slaughtering animals.

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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Slang definitions & phrases for nonkosher



Proper; as it should be; legitimate: Everything looks kosher

[1896+; fr Yiddish fr Hebrew kasher, ''fit, proper'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for nonkosher


("fit," or "proper"), in Judaism, the fitness of an object for ritual purposes. Though generally applied to foods that meet the requirements of the dietary laws (kashruth), kosher is also used to describe, for instance, such objects as a Torah scroll, water for ritual bathing (mikvah), and the ritual ram's horn (shofar). When applied to food, kosher is the opposite of terefah ("forbidden"); when applied to other things, it is the opposite of pasul ("unfit").

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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