Definition of chili in US English:


(also chile, chili pepper) (British chilli)


  • 1A small hot-tasting pod of a variety of capsicum, used chopped (and often dried) in sauces, relishes, and spice powders. There are various forms with pods of differing size, color, and strength of flavor, such as cascabels and jalapeños.

    Capsicum annuum variety annuum, ‘longum’ group or variety longum

    • ‘Mix the olive oil, crushed chillies and thyme leaves with sea salt and black pepper.’
    • ‘Add onion, garlic, chilies, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste, and continue cooking until onion is softened.’
    • ‘You can also garnish meals with 1 tablespoon of spicy condiments like salsa and chutney, or use fresh spices like chiles, garlic, ginger, and onions liberally in cooking.’
    • ‘It was roasted lobster, sole and lobster ‘caviar’ with saffron-tarragon polenta, olives, chiles, peppers and fennel.’
    • ‘To make it palatable, he has used tomatoes, tamarind sauce, onions, chillies and a drop of virgin Olive oil.’
    • ‘Seasonings for marinades run the gamut from herbs, spices, garlic, and chilies to fish sauce, salts, olives, and onions.’
    • ‘Make shallots, garlic, red chilies, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground pepper, trassi and turmeric into a paste.’
    • ‘Mushrooms, apricots, asparagus, a variety of chilies and numerous spices are grown in abundance in nearly all the valleys.’
    • ‘And zesty salsa and smoky chipotle chilies replace the chili sauce for a more interesting interplay of flavors.’
    • ‘A typical paste will contain lots of chiles, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, black pepper, and sea salt.’
    • ‘I cooked Thai fish with dried whole chilies, coriander, lemon grass, soy, and pepper; and served it with fluffy white rice, stir-fried veggies, and mushroom soup.’
    • ‘What he didn't tell you is that there were onions, garlic, oregano and chilies in the sauce, too.’
    • ‘The kulcha naan was stuffed with vegetables, onions, fresh chillies and covered with coriander.’
    • ‘Starting from crushed tomatoes, add oregano, basil, thyme, chilies, real Parmesan, fresh garlic and more.’
    • ‘My friend and I tried the spaghettini with roasted garlic, parsley, pine nuts, chilies and olive oil.’
    • ‘The barbecued ribs (lacquered with a sweet sauce made with ancho chilies and guava) were stacked like little logs and fell neatly off the bone.’
    • ‘I tried the Rajasthan chicken, described as being smeared with fresh ginger and chillies and a coriander sauce.’
    • ‘Next came the omelets: eggs with chopped onions, green chilies, minced cilantro, and a spice that I could not recognize but assumed was a version of black pepper.’
    • ‘A more Americanised version would be topped with grated cheddar and pickled jalapeno chillies, or sour cream and paprika.’
    • ‘This food grouping includes corn, beans, and squash, but is also enriched by the addition of chilies, cactus, maguey, and amaranth.’
    1. 1.1
      short for chili powder
      • ‘Add the flour, salt, chilli, and turmeric and fry on a slow fire till the flour is well roasted.’
      • ‘Another tactic, which I abhor, was to use pepper, chilli or anything to irritate the hounds' noses.’
      • ‘Only a handful of traditional Cuban dishes require the use of chilli or pepper.’
      • ‘Cook with the chilli and turmeric with sufficient amount of water.’
      • ‘The original soup is made with tomato, fresh and preserved pepper and chili in a certain ratio and the sap drawn from trees.’
      • ‘I want a bitter creamy spicy drink, laced with cinnamon or chilli, and dark and rich as - well, as chocolate.’
      • ‘Starters included the less than predictable, such as slices of aubergine stuffed with cottage cheese and potato mash, grilled and glazed with chilli and ginger honey.’
      • ‘Heat half a tablespoon of ghee or oil, in a pan, and fry the coriander leaves along with the chilli, pepper and cumin seeds, till you get an aroma.’
      • ‘The chicken is seasoned with a blend of jalapeno, cayenne, chili, and black and white pepper.’
      • ‘Add the tomatoes, chilli, turmeric, cayenne, ground coriander and salt, and cook for 3 min, stirring well.’
      • ‘Adding some vinegar, pepper and chili in raw or cold food is also helpful in protecting one from diarrhea.’
      • ‘Don't go adding anything hot, though, like cayenne or chilli, or you'll lose the British-ness.’
      • ‘It's basically onion, garlic, green pepper, a can of tomatoes, sprinkle of chili, cayenne pepper and seasoning.’
      • ‘The chef will adjust the quantity of pepper and chili according to taste.’
      • ‘Lunch consists of rice served with vegetable and meat curries and sauces such as sambol, a spicy mixture of grated coconut and chili, peppers, pickles, and chutneys.’
      • ‘If you want to read about roast dog and human placenta wine, or just try recipes such as Keralan mussels with ginger and chilli, or roast pork and clam sticky rice, this book is for you.’
      • ‘Again, Gus had the better of the two dishes, the monkfish done to perfection and complemented beautifully by chilli and ginger.’
      • ‘At the onset of the first symptoms of cold and flu, or if you are already suffering from the miseries of a bad cold, the addition of cayenne chilli to the following remedy will quickly give relief.’
      • ‘The use of the word ‘pepper’ came into existence when it was observed that chili evoked a similar response to that of black pepper.’
      • ‘Mix the ginger, oils, lime juice, soy and chilli, then season to taste.’
    2. 1.2
      short for chili con carne
      • ‘Maria scurried to the booth where she would be selling chili, tortillas, enchiladas and the like.’
      • ‘In Cincinnati, due to some E. Europeans, chili served on spaghetti became the accepted form.’
      • ‘If you like Mexican food, including nachos, tacos and chili con Larry (created after an infamous trip to Santiago), this is certainly the venue to head to.’
      • ‘My companions fell for the chicken and mushroom vol-au-vents served with salad and the chilli in pitta bread clicked with our photographer.’
      • ‘Whenever hubby and I make curry, chilli, stew etc., we always make double the amount so we can always put it in the fridge for tomorrow, or freeze it for an emergency.’
      • ‘My list includes things like hamburgers, grilled chicken, chili, tacos and calzones.’
      • ‘To complement your chili, add a salad with low-fat dressing and a wheat tortilla, brown rice or cornbread.’
      • ‘And when you see beer, chili, and Buffalo Wings, you know you're probably at a sporting event in the States.’
      • ‘They prefer vegetarian versions of old favorites, such as pizza, chili, tacos, and stir-fries, that are relatively easy to adapt.’
      • ‘The addition of ceviche and chilli to sashimi and sushi could have been invented by Thor Heyerdahl to prove that the Japanese discovered Lima.’
      • ‘Make sure to serve the chili, stew or anything that needs a utensil prior to the game.’
      • ‘Normally we go there on Saturday afternoons and sit in leisure and talk over our steak chili.’
      • ‘I am bracing myself to hear about his chili or chicken cutlets.’
      • ‘They'll dole out hearty fare including pancakes, burritos, chili and cornbread.’
      • ‘There are also recipes for cassoulet, sausage chilli, sausage pasta with capers and feta and, of course, sausage, egg and bacon panini: sausage rolls to you and me.’
      • ‘Made from soybeans, TVP comes in granules, chunks and flakes and is great in stews, casseroles, chili and veggie burgers.’
      • ‘Some of the food vendors with barbecues decided to stick it out in the rain selling Indian tacos and macaroni chili.’
      • ‘I ate the traditional chili, pigs-in-a-blanket and nachos.’
      • ‘The yummy chili, burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, and onion rings in Johnny Rockets are free, but there is a charge for the shakes, malts, and other beverages.’
      • ‘When making chilli with jalapenos (for that little bit of extra kick) DO NOT then rub your eyes afterwards.’


Early 17th century: from Spanish chile, from Nahuatl chilli.