Definition of chives in English:


plural noun

  • A widely cultivated small Eurasian plant related to the onion, with purple-pink flowers and dense tufts of long tubular leaves that are used as a culinary herb.

    ‘freshly chopped chives’
    ‘chive and garlic dressing’
    • ‘On an outside window sill, basil, thyme, bay, chervil, sage, chives and marjoram will grow happily in a pot.’
    • ‘Toss a handful of chive blossoms on top of your salad tonight.’
    • ‘Just the thought of fresh bunches of coriander, basil, chives, spring onions and mint at my doorstep makes me all giddy with excitement.’
    • ‘Arrange some fried lotus root chips and salsify to one side of the plate, spoon some sauce around the dish, and garnish with garlic roots, chive blossoms, sea salt, and rosemary.’
    • ‘The likes of chives, basil and marjoram are ideally suited to being grown in a pot and will happily sit on the kitchen windowsill or spend the summer on the doorstep.’
    • ‘There is nothing better than having fresh herbs on hand for cooking and marjoram, thyme, sage, chives, rosemary, parsley and basil will all thrive on a windowsill.’
    • ‘Those who really like onion flavours should throw the pink chive flowers in too.’
    • ‘I like rosemary, thyme, mint, marjoram or chive flowers tossed over dishes made from eggs, vegetables or cheese.’
    • ‘The Herb Garden includes 20 varieties, such as basil, lemon grass, hot and sweet peppers, chives, rosemary and much, much more.’
    • ‘Plant alliums such as garlic and chives, as well as anise, coriander, nasturtiums, and petunias as companion plants.’
    • ‘Herbs such as chives, lemon balm, marjoram, and mint are also attractive to insects.’
    • ‘Today I've planted a tray each of curly parsley, plain parsley and chive seeds and pricked out all the rudbekia and most of the Viola (Johnny Jump Up) seedlings into modules.’
    • ‘Planting too early in mild climates allows too long a time for clove formation, and the plants may form a bush that looks more like a chive plant.’
    • ‘The tomatoes, aubergines and peppers are coming along in the greenhouse, as are the herbs Rosemary sowed about 10 days ago - thyme, sweet basil, chives and parsley.’
    • ‘Add decorative and edible flower heads to your salads, such as nasturtiums, marigold petals, violas and chive flowers.’
    • ‘The site is a former dairy farm, now given over to a variety of herbs - ranging from basil, parsley, coriander and chives to edible flowers and mixed salad leaves.’
    • ‘A few chives and a chive flower, plus a some mint leaves from a plant that is quickly recovering from a recent near-death experience.’
    • ‘Plants deer especially dislike include catmint, chives, lavender, sage, spearmint, thyme and yarrow-all useful and easy to grow in this area.’
    • ‘We came home via the garden centre to buy some more plant pots - my basil and chive seedlings will be ready to live outside soon - and some more organic compost.’
    • ‘Choose five of the following fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, chives, mint, chervil, basil, dill, tarragon.’
    • ‘Compact herbs such as chives, dwarf basil, lavender, and oregano fit nicely into the openings of concrete blocks.’
    • ‘Some easy-to-grow annual herbs that can be transplanted to your garden next spring include basil, dill, oregano, chives, coriander, and anise.’
    • ‘On this occasion, the garden boasted several types of basil, parsley, chives, angelica and mintas well as lettuce, tomatoes and kaffir limes!’
    • ‘I also gave the potted plants (rosemary, chives, oregano and garlic) a bit more compost and a top dressing of bark chips to smarten them up, keep down the weeds and help with water retention.’
    • ‘Add the selection of herbs, particularly the coriander, and toss in the chive flowers.’
    • ‘For fresh flavorings this summer, plant basil, chives, cilantro, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.’
    • ‘Plant seedlings of basil, chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.’
    • ‘So if you plant 20 or 25 chive plants, then you never have to buy chives again.’
    • ‘Sow herbs, including basil, chives, coriander and marjoram in the garden or in windowsill pots.’
    • ‘The choice of herb tends to be decided by availability but in an ideal world, it would be a mix of flat-leaf parsley, chives and tarragon.’
    • ‘Good choices to plant now are basil, chives, cilantro, oregano, parsley rosemary, sage, and thyme.’
    • ‘In the summer find burdock, turnips, cucumbers, mint, lemon grass, Chinese chive, soybeans and coriander.’
    • ‘I had wormwood, soapwort, dill, yarrow, tarragon, chives, rosemary, lavender, angelica, many kinds of basil and thymes.’
    • ‘Not only are they aromatic and in season most of the year, but there is nothing better than having fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, coriander and chives at your fingertips.’
    • ‘If he's fixing a salad, he steps outside the back door and snips from the beds of lemon thyme, garlic chives, parsley, and mint to add to the mix of lettuces he grows from spring to fall.’


Middle English: from Old French, dialect variant of cive, from Latin cepa ‘onion’.