fit or allowed to be eaten or used, according to the dietary or ceremonial laws: kosher meat; kosher dishes; a kosher tallith.
adhering to the laws governing such fitness: a kosher restaurant.
proper; legitimate.
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

nonkosher, adjective, noun
unkosher, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
kosher (ˈkəʊʃə)
1.  Judaism kasher See also kashruth conforming to religious law; fit for use: esp, (of food) prepared in accordance with the dietary laws
2.  informal
 a.  genuine or authentic
 b.  legitimate or proper
[C19: from Yiddish, from Hebrew kāshēr right, proper]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"ritually fit or pure" (especially of food), 1851, from Yiddish kosher, from Heb. kasher "fit, proper, lawful," from base of kasher "was suitable, proper." General sense of "correct, legitimate" is from 1896.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Encyclopedia Britannica


("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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Example sentences
Many mainstream manufacturers are reformulating their products to meet kosher
Kosher laws proscribe pork and shellfish and prohibit mixing meat and dairy
Kosher and scenic restaurants receive special attention.
Kosher turkeys are prepared under rabbinical supervision.
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