kim·​chi ˈkim-chē How to pronounce kimchi (audio)
variants or less commonly kimchee
: a spicy, pungent vegetable dish that consists of one or more pickled and fermented vegetables and especially napa cabbage and radishes with various seasonings (such as garlic, red chili pepper, ginger, scallions, and anchovy paste) and that is the national dish of South Korea
To Koreans, life without "kimchi"—that spicy, fermented pickled vegetable mixture, which accompanies every Korean meal—is unthinkable.K. Connie Kang
Korean buckwheat noodles have more of a kick, often delivered with a little spicy kimchi.David Tanis

Examples of kimchi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sunja sells kimchi and works at a barbecue restaurant to make ends meet, and travelers can still experience both of these specialties today. Roger Sands, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 The researchers from Chung Ang University, Korea’s National Cancer Center and the World Institute of Kimchi found that Korean men who consumed the most cabbage kimchi in particular had a 10% reduced chance of developing both obesity and abdominal obesity. Emi Tuyetnhi Tran, NBC News, 31 Jan. 2024 How to enjoy the trend: Try some kimchi, a Korean delicacy consisting of salted and fermented vegetables, such as Korean radish or napa cabbage. Daphne Ewing-Chow, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Indeed, there’s housemade kimchi in the restaurant’s little market within the dining room, which also sells Chinese candy and snacks and three kinds of Wang’s chile oil. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2024 But some—like this Napa cabbage kimchi—work best with a specific variety. Zoe Denenberg, Bon Appétit, 15 Feb. 2024 The kimchi and similar condiments that were an innate part of meals of his childhood dovetailed with the era’s obsession with fermentation. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2024 Earlier this year, scientists explored whether making kimchi in traditional earthenware vessels known as onggi results in the best kimchi. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 12 Sep. 2023 Far fewer of us would nurture a scoby and make kimchi and sour pickles at home without this book and his passion. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 14 Dec. 2023

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

Word History


Korean kimch'i

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kimchi was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near kimchi

Cite this Entry

“Kimchi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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