chic·o·ry | \ˈchi-k(ə-)rē \
variants: or less commonly chickory
plural chicories

Definition of chicory 

1 : a thick-rooted usually blue-flowered European perennial composite herb (Cichorium intybus) widely grown for its roots and as a salad plant — compare belgian endive, radicchio

2 : the dried ground roasted root of chicory used to flavor or adulterate coffee

Examples of chicory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This is especially true of the slightly-but-pleasantly-bitter Italian varieties of red chicory known as radicchio. David Tanis, New York Times, "In Winter, Take the Bitter With the Sweet," 19 Jan. 2018 Buy Photo The slim volume bound in animal skin represented the best the field of medicine had to offer 500 years ago: a compilation of remedies made from such ingredients as rabbit bones, ox tongue, and chicory. Tom Avril,, "Scans reveal secrets of medieval 'Harry Potter' book and medical texts at Penn," 14 May 2018 Toss the frisee or chicory with the dressing in a mixing bowl until evenly coated, then divide the salad among individual plates. Ellie Krieger, charlotteobserver, "Eggs in a hole, French edition," 12 June 2018 Spinach: Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard have fiber, folate and carotenoids, which have antioxidants. Allison Horton, miamiherald, "Want to reduce your odds of getting cancer? Stay active, lose weight and eat healthy | Miami Herald," 25 May 2018 What tied it all together was the perfectly seasoned citrus vinaigrette that mellowed out the bitter chicory and spices. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Chefs may change at Frances, but the Castro restaurant remains a bright star," 25 Jan. 2018 Try the Nitro Russian cocktail with vodka, coffee liqueur, coffee cream and chicory ($12). Audrey Gorden, RedEye Chicago, "10 buzzworthy coffee cocktails around Chicago," 28 Sep. 2017 Permaculture gardeners grow many types of perennial food plants—such as arrowhead, sorrel, chicory, and asparagus—in addition to standard garden vegetables. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Create A Permaculture Garden That Supports Your Local Ecosystem," 1 Mar. 2017 As in a stunning salad made from four citrus fruits, hearty endives and colorful chicories on the menu at The Progress in San Francisco. Jeanmarie Brownson, charlotteobserver, "Hungry for salad season? Citrus salads will get you through | Charlotte Observer," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chicory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of chicory

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chicory

alteration of Middle English cicoree, from Anglo-French, from Latin cichoreum, from Greek kichoreia

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chicory

Statistics for chicory

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chicory

The first known use of chicory was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chicory



English Language Learners Definition of chicory

: a European plant that has bitter-tasting leaves that are often used in salads

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on chicory

What made you want to look up chicory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!