variants or less commonly or chiefly British chilli
plural chilies also chiles or chilis or chiefly British chillies
or chili pepper : a hot pepper of any of a group of cultivars (Capsicum annuum annuum group longum) noted for their pungency
chiefly British chilli : a pepper whether hot or sweet
: a thick sauce of meat and chilies
liked to cover her spaghetti with red chili
: chili con carne
a bowl of chili
also : a similar dish made without beef
vegetarian chili
seafood chili

Examples of chili in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This allowed Brown to showcase the rich spices used in northern Thai cuisine such as lemongrass, tamarind and chili. Leah Collins, CNN, 12 Apr. 2024 The furor also renewed love for Lao Gan Ma spicy chili crisp, an iconic condiment that many of Asian descent, particularly Chinese Americans, associate with home. Kimmy Yam, NBC News, 11 Apr. 2024 And how far could Momofuku take its chili crunch war? Sam Stone, Bon Appétit, 10 Apr. 2024 The former is a distinct brand name and swims in a pool of chili gravy and doesn't usually include meat or sugars. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 10 Apr. 2024 Momofuku first launched its chili crunch in 2018 before selling bottles in 2020. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 10 Apr. 2024 The chili crunchy stuff with the stern lady on the bottle was the clear winner. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2024 In normal times, it is often seasoned with lemon juice or chili pepper. Bilal Shbair, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2024 Slather with the herbed chili butter before slicing into 1-inch wide strips. Laura McLively, The Mercury News, 3 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chili.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish chile, from Nahuatl chīlli

First Known Use

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of chili was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near chili

Cite this Entry

“Chili.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also chile or chilli
plural chilies also chiles or chilis or chillies

Geographical Definition


geographical name

former, especially British name for Chile or for the once poorly defined Andes border region between Chile and Argentina

More from Merriam-Webster on chili

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