Definition of couscous in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkʊskʊs//ˈkuːskuːs/


  • 1[mass noun] A type of North African semolina in granules made from crushed durum wheat.

    • ‘I chose the tabbouleh salad, a tangy mixture of tomatoes, onions, parsley and couscous.’
    • ‘There are lots of modest veggie dishes that I prepare for lunch or dinner, such as stuffed pepper with couscous, mushroom and coriander or a lump of Wensleydale on toast.’
    • ‘Precooked and ready to eat in minutes, couscous is the fast food of grains.’
    • ‘For this fast and satisfying menu, we add spices, canned tomatoes, and shelf-stable couscous to give convenient ingredients a Moroccan flair.’
    • ‘The salads featured haricot and broad beans as well as couscous, brown rice and a green salad.’
    • ‘Other memorable dishes are eel with onions and raisins; couscous where the grain is barley, not wheat; and a vermicelli cooked in a rich and tasty sauce.’
    • ‘I got plain white rice to soak up the stew, while my companion opted for attiéké, which is similar to North African couscous except that it's made with manioc instead of semolina.’
    • ‘Stuff with couscous mixed with orange juice, paprika, cayenne, cumin, garlic, parsley, diced prunes and pinenuts.’
    • ‘Serve hot or warm with bread, couscous or steamed rice and a good dollop of yoghurt.’
    • ‘For a complete meal, serve this savory dish with brown rice, quinoa or whole-wheat couscous, and steamed green beans.’
    • ‘Add aromatic herbs and seasonings to cooking liquid when you prepare lentils, beans, couscous or rice (try fresh thyme for a taste of Provence or lemongrass for an Asian accent).’
    • ‘Smeeda or large grain semolina flour is the grain of choice to make couscous.’
    • ‘Great with rice, couscous, or mashed potatoes.’
    • ‘The midday and evening meals may consist of rice or couscous with sauce (often peanut) and/or vegetables.’
    • ‘Recipes often involve corn, rice, and couscous (crushed grain, especially a certain type of wheat) as a starchy base.’
    • ‘Swap instant brown rice or whole-grain couscous for white rice in pilafs and stuffings.’
    • ‘Serve with a salad of potatoes, rice, couscous or green leaves.’
    • ‘Place the couscous and icing sugar in a large heatproof bowl.’
    • ‘It stresses wheat, in the form of bread or couscous, olives and olive oil, meat (above all, mutton), fruit, and vegetables.’
    1. 1.1 A spicy dish made by steaming or soaking couscous and adding meat, vegetables, or fruit.
      • ‘The veggie and non-veggie versions were identical, save for the beef in the meat couscous, and the vegetables included zucchini, carrot, cabbage and big beefy lima beans.’
      • ‘Poached salmon with Bearnaise sauce, potato salad, spicy couscous, green salad, washed down with my contribution, a bottle of Chardonnay.’
      • ‘Dinner each night will be different but typically Moroccan cuisine such as couscous or a meat and vegetable stew, with beer, wine or water, followed by Moroccan mint tea.’
      • ‘Working on a Scottish theme, they smoked the salmon in oak sawdust and served it with wilted spinach, a carrot and coriander purée and raisin and herb couscous.’
      • ‘Her vegetable studded couscous arrives in a straw tagine called a tbak, which sits like a tableside footstool.’
      • ‘Is couscous the trendy dish of the new millennium?’
      • ‘To serve, arrange some vegetable couscous and hearts of palm in the center of a plate and set two tilapia fillets on top.’
      • ‘Food is everything from Moroccan-themed couscous and chicken tagines, to burgers and special veggie dishes.’
      • ‘Small and sleek, it offers exceptional sushi and sashimi, plus specialities such as swordfish tandoori and calamari stuffed with curried couscous.’
      • ‘Cuisine is North African couscous and tagines of course, and belly dancers and Berber drums provide extra entertainment.’
      • ‘The lamb was accompanied by an eggplant caviar, curried Israeli couscous and crab apple almond salad.’
      • ‘I had the pan-fried sea bass with pine nut couscous, chilli syrup and cashew nut pesto for €20.’
      • ‘For once, the side vegetables were worth eating: cumin-spiced carrot under a breadcrumb crust, roast jacket spuds and minty couscous and broccoli salad.’
      • ‘The chicken is delicately spiced and served with a griddled vegetable couscous.’
      • ‘Toss fresh or dried berries into savory dishes such as salsas, salads, pilafs and couscous.’
      • ‘To serve, spoon the vegetable couscous in the center of a soup plate, arrange some rabbit loin, rabbit saddle, and kidneys on top, and garnish with tarragon.’
      • ‘The national dish of Algeria is couscous, steamed semolina wheat served with lamb or chicken, cooked vegetables, and gravy.’
      • ‘They're great as dips or racy condiments for the various couscous and tagine entrées.’
      • ‘A few days later, I followed the dream's instructions, and brought these fish and nectarine skewers to life, served with herbed couscous and a nectarine chutney.’
      • ‘This spice mix has its origins in Tunisia and is used in couscous, meat dishes and some tagines.’


Early 17th century: from French, from Arabic kuskus, from kaskasa to pound, probably of Berber origin.