kitchen

1 of 2

noun (1)

kitch·​en ˈki-chən How to pronounce kitchen (audio)
plural kitchens
1
: a place (such as a room) with cooking facilities
a house with a large kitchen
often used before another noun
kitchen cabinets
the kitchen sink
a kitchen knife
see also everything but the kitchen sink
2
: the people who prepare, cook, and serve food especially in a restaurant, cafeteria, etc.
We ate so eagerly that the kitchen sent out a second round of tostadas.Brian Reinhart
3
: a style of cooking : cuisine
The following recipes illustrate the wide scope of the Indonesian kitchenCopeland Marks

kitchen

2 of 2

noun (2)

African American English
: the hair that grows at the nape of the neck and that can be especially kinky (see kinky sense 1)
I'm a Southern girl who was lucky enough to have a grandmother who was a beautician, and when Grandma Bessie styled our hair, the "edges" and "kitchen" were a top priority; they were just as important as the body of the hair. They had to be carefully pressed to assure the strands were just as straight and smooth as the rest of the hair.Chime Edwards
If there ever was one part of our African past that resisted assimilation, it was the kitchen. No matter how hot the iron, no matter how powerful the chemical, no matter how stringent the mashed-potatoes-and-lye formula of a man's "process," neither God nor woman nor Sammy Davis, Jr. could straighten the kitchen. The kitchen was permanent, irredeemable, invincible kink. Unassimilably African.Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Did you know?

Although a room where food is cooked is called a kitchen, the words cook and kitchen are so different that it is surprising to learn that they both come from the same source. Both words can be traced to the Latin verb coquere, meaning “to cook.” The connection between coquere and cook is easy to see, but kitchen has a more involved history. From the verb coquere came the later Latin noun coquina, meaning “a kitchen.” With some changes in pronunciation, coquina came into Old English as cycene. This became Middle English kichene and finally modern English kitchen.

Examples of kitchen in a Sentence

Noun (1) They want a house with a large kitchen.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The tone is further echoed in the kitchen backsplash and the primary bedroom’s Voutsa wallpaper, depicting a garden dreamscape. Leilani Marie Labong, Architectural Digest, 8 July 2024 My father started a kosher kitchen in the camp that previously served as a psychiatric hospital. Linda Chase, Sun Sentinel, 8 July 2024 These fine-mesh graters are great for so many kitchen tasks, from shaving parm on top of a pasta dish to grating ginger and garlic into a stir-fry. Alaina Chou, Bon Appétit, 8 July 2024 When the woman, who was seated at the kitchen table, began advancing toward the deputies and refused to drop her knife, the deputies opened fire, the department said. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for kitchen 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English kichene, from Old English cycene, from Late Latin coquina, from Latin coquere to cook — more at cook

Noun (2)

perhaps a figurative use of kitchen entry 1, though the basis for such a comparison is uncertain

Note: Alternatively, a relation with Scots kinch "twist or doubling in a rope" (thus Scottish National Dictionary) has been proposed, though a Scots source would only be probable if the word were attested much earlier.

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kitchen was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near kitchen

Cite this Entry

“Kitchen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kitchen. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

kitchen

noun
kitch·​en ˈkich-ən How to pronounce kitchen (audio)
: a place (as a room) in which cooking is done
Etymology

Noun

Middle English kichene "kitchen," from Old English cycene (same meaning), from Latin coquina "a place where food is cooked," from earlier coquere "to cook" — related to cook

Word Origin
Although a room where food is cooked is called a kitchen, the words cook and kitchen are so different that it is surprising to learn that they both come from the same source. Both words can be traced to the Latin verb coquere, meaning "to cook." The connection between coquere and cook is easy to see, but kitchen has a more involved history. From the verb coquere came the later Latin noun coquina, meaning "a kitchen." With some changes in pronunciation, coquina came into Old English as cycene. Further changes over the course of many years gave us kichene and finally the Modern English kitchen.

More from Merriam-Webster on kitchen

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