chum

noun (1)
\ ˈchəm How to pronounce chum (audio) \

Definition of chum

 (Entry 1 of 5)

: a close friend : pal

chum

verb (1)
chummed; chumming

Definition of chum (Entry 2 of 5)

intransitive verb

1 : to room together
2a : to be a close friend
b : to show affable friendliness
c : to spend time with someone as a friend usually used with around In the early '50s he entered Cornell University but quit after two years and lit out for Greenwich Village, where he studied drama and chummed around with James Dean.— William Plummer et al.

chum

noun (2)

Definition of chum (Entry 3 of 5)

: animal or vegetable matter (such as chopped fish or corn) thrown overboard to attract fish

chum

verb (2)
chummed; chumming

Definition of chum (Entry 4 of 5)

transitive verb

: to attract with chum

intransitive verb

: to throw chum overboard to attract fish

chum

noun (3)

Definition of chum (Entry 5 of 5)

Other Words from chum

Noun (1)

chumship \ ˈchəm-​ˌship How to pronounce chum (audio) \ noun

First Known Use of chum

Noun (1)

1684, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1857, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1857, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (3)

1902, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chum

Noun (1)

earlier "roommate, person living in the same dwelling," perhaps by shortening & alteration from chamber fellow or chamber mate

Verb (1)

verbal derivative of chum entry 1

Noun (2)

of uncertain origin

Note: The word is apparently first attested along the New England coast. The Dictionary of American Regional English suggests a relation to "obs[olete] Engl[ish] & Scots dial[ect] chum food," but the sole attestation of such a word ("chum food, provision for the belly, Clydes[dale]") is in John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (1808). Possibly related is chum "a formless mass (of vegetables) from over-boiling," in the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, which points to Ulster Scots champ "potatoes, boiled and mashed," recorded in Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary. This would presumably connect the word to champ entry 1.

Verb (2)

verbal derivative of chum entry 3

Noun (3)

probably borrowed from Chinook Jargon cəm "spotted, striped," from Lower Chinook c̓ə́m "variegated"

Learn More About chum

Dictionary Entries Near chum

Chulyma Tatar

chum

Chumash

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Cite this Entry

“Chum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chum. Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for chum

chum

noun
\ ˈchəm How to pronounce chum (audio) \

Kids Definition of chum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a close friend : pal

chum

verb
chummed; chumming

Kids Definition of chum (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spend time with as a friend She likes to chum around with older students.

More from Merriam-Webster on chum

Nglish: Translation of chum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chum for Arabic Speakers

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