Definition of chives in English:

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Pronunciation: /tʃʌɪvz/

plural noun

A small Eurasian plant related to the onion, with purple-pink flowers and long tubular leaves which are used as a culinary herb: freshly chopped chives (as modifier chive) chive and garlic dressing
  • Allium schoenoprasum, family Liliaceae (or Alliaceae).
More example sentences
  • Plant seedlings of basil, chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
  • The site is a former dairy farm, now given over to a variety of herbs - ranging from basil, parsley, coriander and chives to edible flowers and mixed salad leaves.
  • If he's fixing a salad, he steps outside the back door and snips from the beds of lemon thyme, garlic chives, parsley, and mint to add to the mix of lettuces he grows from spring to fall.


Middle English: from Old French, dialect variant of cive, from Latin cepa 'onion'.

  • chip from Middle English:

    The word chip was probably formed from an Old English word, forchippian, ‘to cut off’. A person who is thought to resemble one of their parents in character or behaviour can be described as a chip off the old block. The phrase was originally found in the forms chip of the same block and chip of the old block, so that the person appeared made from the same material. To have a chip on your shoulder is to be aggressively sensitive about something, usually some long-standing grievance or cause of resentment. The expression is first recorded in American English. An explanation can be found in an early example from the Long Island Telegraph of 20 May 1830: ‘When two churlish boys were determined to fight, a chip [of wood] would be placed on the shoulder of one, and the other demanded to knock it off at his peril.’Another meaning of chip is ‘a counter used in gambling games, representing money’, and such gambling chips, especially as used in the game of poker, feature in a number of common phrases. If someone has had their chips, they are beaten or out of contention. The idea is of having run out of gambling counters or chips with which to place a stake. Similarly, when the chips are down you find yourself in a very serious and difficult situation. To cash in your chips is to die—you are no longer ‘in the game’.

    Deep-fried slices of potato have been known as chips since the time of Dickens. You might think of the phrase cheap as chips as being a recent invention, but it, too, goes back to at least the 1850s, when it was used in an advert in The Times.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: chives

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