Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A condiment consisting of a thick, smooth-textured, spicy sauce usually made from tomatoes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See catchup.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A pureed table sauce made predominantly from tomatoes, flavored with onions, sugar, salt and spices; called also tomato ketchup. The term is also applied to pureed sauces containing mushrooms, walnuts, etc., being called in such cases mushroom ketchup, walnut ketchup, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable A tomato-vinegar based sauce.
  • noun countable Such a sauce more generally (not necessarily based on tomatoes), or a specific brand or kind of such sauce – see usage notes below.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun thick spicy sauce made from tomatoes

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Malay kicap, sauce made from fermented fish, from Chinese (Hokkien) kê-chiap : , pickled fish (from Middle Chinese xjɦjaʽj also the source of Mandarin xié) + chiap, juice, sauce, brine (from Middle Chinese xjɦjaʽj; also the source of Mandarin zhī).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1711, following earlier catchup (1690), of disputed origin. Originally referred to a sauce from South/Southeast/East Asia – 1690: East Indies (region generally); 1711: Tonkin (northern Vietnam) and China.

Examples

  • And to make its trek into the 21st century complete, Heinz has launched a Facebook fan page, where ketchup enthusiasts If there are any! can share stories, videos, photos about…..ketchup.

    Angelina Jolie Heinz Spokesmodel: Angelina Jolie Heinz Ad Campaign

  • Did you know the American front porch is an architectural tradition from Africa ... that an early version of pizza was baked on ancient warriors 'shields ... and that the word "ketchup" comes from the Chinese "ki-tsiap" meaning "fish sauce"?

    WebWire | Recent Headlines

  • To serve, mix in ketchup or hot sauce of your choice.

    Laura Silverman: Eating Meaty

  • For the first time in 40 years, Heinz ketchup is changing its famous recipe — by lowering the salt content in an effort to appeal to more health-conscious consumers, the company said yesterday.

    You may need to stockpile Heinz ketchup. | RedState

  • Restaurants give ketchup away, so "cost is king," says Amy Coltrin , senior director of product development for Golden State Foods Corp., a Heinz competitor that supplies private-label ketchup to most McDonald's in the U.S.

    Old Ketchup Packet Heads for Trash

  • � Ms. OBAMA: Many of these kids may never learn that ketchup comes from a tomato or that French fries actually come from a potato, because they're very disconnected from the food that they eat.

    Mrs. Obama: From Spouses' Circuit To Campaign Trail

  • � Ms. OBAMA: Many of these kids may never learn that ketchup comes from a tomato or that French fries actually come from a potato, because they're very disconnected from the food that they eat.

    Mrs. Obama: From Spouses' Circuit To Campaign Trail

  • � Ms. OBAMA: Many of these kids may never learn that ketchup comes from a tomato or that French fries actually come from a potato, because they're very disconnected from the food that they eat.

    Mrs. Obama: From Spouses' Circuit To Campaign Trail

  • Smokey and Blaise look great and Smokey knows how important ketchup is to keeping ones sanity (just ask Garrison Keillor).

    frimousse - French Word-A-Day

  • � Ms. OBAMA: Many of these kids may never learn that ketchup comes from a tomato or that French fries actually come from a potato, because they're very disconnected from the food that they eat.

    Mrs. Obama: From Spouses' Circuit To Campaign Trail

Comments

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  • A type of fruit-butter, much like applesauce. According to discussion on criss-cross applesauce.

    October 4, 2008

  • *snort*

    October 4, 2008

  • What? WeirdNet says it's a sauce...

    October 4, 2008

  • p.s. this word has a pretty awesome etymology. And I highly recommend the couple of chapters in Mark Kurlansky's Salt for more history than you ever dreamed ketchup had in its little tomatoey globules.

    October 4, 2008

  • C_b, you carelessly left "little tomatoey globules" unbracketed. Shame.

    October 4, 2008

  • *makes restitution*

    *beats chest in penance*

    October 4, 2008

  • THANK you. :-)

    October 4, 2008

  • As a child I learned the spelling "catsup" for this condiment, I think from the writing on our catsup bottle. Of course, I felt a certain awe for this word that could be spelled one way and pronounced entirely differently.

    October 6, 2008

  • Rolig, I think catsup is a very common spelling; I'm not sure either is really preferred except by individuals. My understanding (which comes almost exclusively from Kurlansky's book, below, p. 189-191 acc. to Amazon) is that the word was originally something like "ke-tsiap" (going off vague memory here), and that pronunciation probably was more like catsup than ketchup.

    The "original" ke-tsiap (or however it was spelled, this being well before standardization) was a salt-preserved condiment sauce made from fermented inedible fish parts (e.g. heads, guts) and sounded to me a lot more similar to Worcestershire sauce than to what we know today as ketchup. But anyway... what we call catsup or ketchup can be made from a wide variety of foodstuffs--I've seen banana ketchup quite frequently, actually--but the most common seems to be the tomato.

    I don't know anyone who pronounces it cat-sup, though.

    October 6, 2008

  • See ketchup couverture.

    January 28, 2010