Chinese restaurant syndrome

noun

dated, sometimes offensive
: a group of symptoms held to affect susceptible persons eating food heavily seasoned with monosodium glutamate : msg symptom complex

Note: The term Chinese restaurant syndrome was coined in the late 1960s following reports of people having bad reactions to food seasoned with monosodium glutamate in Chinese restaurants. Research in the years since has failed to establish a clear link between those adverse reactions and the consumption of MSG, and the term Chinese restaurant syndrome has been criticized as misleading and potentially offensive. It has been replaced in medical literature by MSG symptom complex.

Word History

First Known Use

1968, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Chinese restaurant syndrome was in 1968

Dictionary Entries Near Chinese restaurant syndrome

Chinese red

Chinese restaurant syndrome

Chinese rose

Cite this Entry

“Chinese restaurant syndrome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Chinese%20restaurant%20syndrome. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

Chinese restaurant syndrome

noun
Chinese res·​tau·​rant syndrome -ˈres-t(ə-)rənt-, -tə-ˌränt-, -ˌtränt-, -tərnt- How to pronounce Chinese restaurant syndrome (audio)
dated, sometimes offensive
: a group of symptoms held to affect susceptible persons eating food heavily seasoned with monosodium glutamate : msg symptom complex

Note: The term Chinese restaurant syndrome was coined in the late 1960s following reports of people having bad reactions to food seasoned with monosodium glutamate in Chinese restaurants. Research in the years since has failed to establish a clear link between those adverse reactions and the consumption of MSG, and the term Chinese restaurant syndrome has been criticized as misleading and potentially offensive. It has been replaced in medical literature by MSG symptom complex.

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