na·​cho ˈnä-(ˌ)chō How to pronounce nacho (audio)
plural nachos
: a tortilla chip topped with melted cheese and often additional savory toppings (such as hot peppers or refried beans)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Elsewhere around the county, the number of birria taco shops has exploded and birria is now being served as a condiment on burgers in Carlsbad, over ramen in North Park and as nacho topping in Hillcrest. Pam Kragen Dec. 23, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Dec. 2022 The Laughing Taco and nacho stands: Good Foods chunky guacamole. Hannah Kirby, Journal Sentinel, 20 Oct. 2022 But of the thousands of offerings, Williams’ go-to snack is a bag of nacho cheese triangles. Dallas News, 29 Sep. 2022 Nacho fries are currently offered at Taco Bell locations in a seven-layer version topped with guacamole, nacho cheese, beef and more. Sam Burros, Peoplemag, 15 Dec. 2022 The seasoned fries serve as the base, upon which are heaped ground beef, black beans, diced tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheddar and two types of sauce, a warm nacho and creamy chipotle. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2022 Beyond Chips Instead of tortilla chips, spoon nacho toppings over hot French fries, potato tots, baked potato skins, roasted sweet potato slices, pita rounds, shredded lettuce, or pizza crust. Bhg Test Kitchen, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Nov. 2022 The four of them played chicken in the pool, the women participated in a nacho eating contest and the guys showed off their moves in a dance contest. Dana Rose Falcone, Peoplemag, 4 Oct. 2022 Other options include a nacho burger, a barbecue smokehouse burger and a blue cheese burger. Bahar Anooshahr, The Arizona Republic, 5 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


probably borrowed from Spanish Nacho, hypocoristic form of the personal name Ignacio

Note: According to a story that apparently first appeared in the San Antonio Express on May 23, 1954 ("Nacho's? Natch!", by Clarence D. LaRoche, p. 3H), the dish was devised in 1940 by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya García (1895-1975), a waiter (in other versions a maitre d' or chef) at a restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico. As related by LaRoche and in later versions, the story has stock elements of a culinary origin myth: late in the day a waiter or chef is pressed to come up with food to satisfy hungry customers and with limited ingredients left in the kitchen invents a new dish. Similar stories purport to explain the origins of other eponymous dishes, as the Reuben sandwich, Buffalo wings and Caesar salad. Though a print connection between "Nacho" Anaya and nachos is relatively early—predating the popularity of the snack outside south Texas—the first citations for nacho, in 1948 and 1949, make no reference to him.

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nacho was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near nacho

Cite this Entry

“Nacho.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


na·​cho ˈnä-chō How to pronounce nacho (audio)
plural nachos
: a tortilla chip topped with melted cheese and often additional toppings (as hot peppers or refried beans)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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