Main definitions of chum in US English:

: chum1chum2chum3

chum1

nounPlural chums

informal
  • 1A close friend.

    • ‘I was delighted to receive an ‘Easter card’ from an old school chum via Friends Reunited.’
    • ‘The seven-year-old from Potterne, near Devizes, organised and ran a cake stall on Friday with his chums at the village primary school, raising £190.’
    • ‘After that, it was on to long lost school chums and former neighbours.’
    • ‘Through the years many of the family vehicles came from the dealership, run in my time by two brothers, the eldest a school chum of Papa's.’
    • ‘I have no friends, I have no family, I have no pals, no buddies, no chums, no amigos, nothing.’
    • ‘Several weeks into the unadulterated joy that is a house extension, my chum is now something of an expert on workmen and their ways.’
    • ‘You thought he was your friend, your pal, your chum.’
    • ‘Luckily, she found employment at a bank through her friend Saira who had been her college chum.’
    • ‘Prudie finds that form of address OK when talking to children, or close chums, but it is rather inappropriate coming from a waiter or clerk of the court.’
    • ‘The colonel-to-be and his boyhood chums were among the school's fans.’
    • ‘Historians agree Alexander and his beloved Haphaestion were more than battle mates and boyhood chums.’
    • ‘She confides in her old chum Marjory Frobisher that she wasn't keen on the former lord of the manor.’
    • ‘Pankhurst admits candidly that he was not big on the idea of contacting his old schoolmates at first, but has now hooked up with old chums from both primary and secondary.’
    • ‘Playmate, friend and confidant, his alien chum is a compensation for the lonely hurt of an absent father and a shrill mother failing to cope with life as a single parent.’
    • ‘The National Cowgirl Hall of Fame calls Fort Worth home and one of Mother's old school chums is a member.’
    • ‘When he was 6 years old, a school chum told him that old Indian lore claimed that if you eat poison ivy leaves you'll never be allergic to it.’
    • ‘The current Dukes team has some close family ties - nine of the 11 Grade 12s on the team have all been chums since elementary school.’
    • ‘Just last week one of his little chums did a spectacular swan dive into the school pond which left him dripping wet from head to toe.’
    • ‘The setting is a hospital waiting room in Regina, where three friends reunite after an old chum attempts suicide.’
    • ‘The schoolboy wizard and his chums have to unravel the mystery of Sirius Black's escape from the infamous prison of Azkaban.’
    friend, companion, intimate, familiar, confidant, alter ego, second self
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A form of address expressing familiarity or friendliness.
      ‘it's your own fault, chum’
      • ‘There's nothing better than being called friend, mate, pal, chum, buddy - it makes for a brighter day and a smiley face.’
      • ‘I think you are too bossy, chum.’
      • ‘Which is exactly why I didn't go to my school reunion, old chums.’
      • ‘Hello chums and chum-like readers, it's your old friend Livestock here.’
      • ‘John replied, "Don't look so glum, chum!"’
      • ‘Haven't you been listening at all, chum?’

verbchummed, chumming, chums

[no object]informal
  • Be friendly to or form a friendship with someone.

    ‘they started chumming around in high school’
    • ‘‘Luckily’ they quickly chummed up with Chubby and his loudmouthed abrasive older brother who had just moved in.’
    • ‘‘Sure,’ I replied, a bit confused by the girl's apparent taking to me, but at the same time a bit grateful to have a fellow female to chum around with.’
    • ‘She was chumming around with the wrong sort of people, and she got stuck helping him plot his murder.’
    • ‘Then they chummed up with Stereolab and mimicked that band's increasingly electronic direction.’
    • ‘The moment had come and gone: I would never be able to chum up with Nick again.’
    • ‘Her father - who's been chumming around with Jack's wife Teri looking for the two runaways - goes to check on the progress of his daughter.’
    • ‘Bill and I chummed up shipboard and got into the habit of taking our constitutional together every night after supper.’
    • ‘Well, he has been busy chumming around with Rod as head of the Citizens Committee.’
    • ‘She spent most of her time chumming up with the president's mother.’

Origin

Late 17th century (originally Oxford University slang, denoting a roommate): probably short for chamber-fellow. Compare with comrade and crony.

Pronunciation

chum

/CHəm//tʃəm/

Main definitions of chum in US English:

: chum1chum2chum3

chum2

nounPlural chums

North American
  • 1Chopped fish, fish fluids, and other material thrown overboard as angling bait.

    ‘the anglers anchored down and put out their blood chum’
    • ‘I could hardly believe how many sharks there were, or how vicious they looked, tearing at the chum.’
    • ‘Indeed, there is much to be learnt from the Brigadier in terms of drifting and baits and chum.’
    • ‘The use of chum to attract sharks makes sightings likely enough to ensure the commercial viability of cage diving.’
    • ‘Their bland prettiness makes them more enticing as shark chum than as characters, but then a funny thing happens once they're at sea.’
    • ‘Often, skippers advocate old fish as best, but my experience proves otherwise with fresh chum being the most effective.’
    • ‘Also worth note, the serious jetty rustler is not opposed to tossing a few fresh shrimp as chum to attract or hold passing fish.’
    • ‘You're all like a bunch of sharks circling around a freshly thrown bucket of chum.’
    • ‘The advantage of using chum is that the slowly settling bits of bait can draw deep fish to the surface; this allows the astute angler to be selective.’
    • ‘Almost all of the sharks we fish for are listed in the book, and even if you're no longer allowed to chop up the odd pilot-whale or two for chum, you'll still find something of value and fascination here.’
    • ‘We idled over a structure loaded with kings stimulated into a feeding frenzy by generous helpings of chum.’
    • ‘The imitations in Trevor's fly box are some of the best imitations of caster, bloodworms and pedigree chum I have seen.’
    • ‘‘Some articles say that we just took them out in a tugboat and threw chum in the water,’ says Lau, laughing.’
    • ‘Imagine the chum trail as being a widening angle projected from the boat and getting deeper the further it travels.’
    • ‘Seal colonies generate their own shark-attracting stimuli and the boat operators' chum and bait offer a minor additional input.’
    • ‘I swear, people only ever invite me sea-fishing to save on the cost of chum.’
    1. 1.1 Refuse from fish, especially that remaining after expressing oil.

verbchummed, chumming, chums

[no object]North American
  • Use chum as bait when fishing.

    ‘chumming is always a must when flounder fishing’
    • ‘We spent three long days on the water chumming for sharks but none turned up.’
    • ‘What has struck a nerve with some scientists, says Gruber, is that the Florida ban ‘allows spear fishing and chumming in order to kill sharks, but not diving to learn about sharks.’’
    • ‘To get good shots of sharks, chumming and baiting is sometimes essential.’
    • ‘Our boat captain was chumming with frozen blocks of fish in a wire cage to which all the birds were ‘pushing and shoving’ in an effort to get their share.’
    • ‘Last October, while chumming at 14 - Mile Bank off Newport in their 25-foot Topaz, she and Matt got their chance at a record.’
    • ‘This virtual neighborhood of white sharks within a protected area offers something found nowhere else on earth: the chance to study them in their natural environment, unaffected by chumming or baiting.’
    • ‘Systems were developed for chumming the fish in the open ocean and pinpointing schools of fish with the help of land-based watchers and signal flags.’
    • ‘Preferred fishing methods are trolling with lures or baits, bottom fishing, jigging, chumming, and spin casting.’
    • ‘As in fly fishing chum the fish up-tide with mashed bread or finely ground cooked rice.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

chum

/CHəm//tʃəm/

Main definitions of chum in US English:

: chum1chum2chum3

chum3

(also chum salmon)

nounPlural chums

  • A large North Pacific salmon that is commercially important as a food fish.

    Oncorhyncus keta, family Salmonidae

    • ‘Chinook salmon and chum salmon come in from the ocean to spawn.’
    • ‘We'll fish for Arctic char, chum salmon, grayling, sheefish, and pike.’
    • ‘The chum salmon have very strange markings, and some very nasty teeth.’
    • ‘Six species of the Pacific salmonids (chinook, chum, coho, pink, sockeye, and steelhead) do so.’
    • ‘Straith said the creek is a habitat for coho and chum salmon, and both species had been observed spawning in the creek two months prior to the incident.’
    • ‘It takes very few lice to kill these small pink and chum salmon.’
    • ‘Arctic cod, arctic char, arctic cisco, arctic lamprey, pink salmon, and chum salmon are some common species of fish found in the ecozone.’
    • ‘Of the Pacific species, chinook and coho are farmed, while chum, pink, and sockeye salmon are not found in aquaculture operations.’
    • ‘Many observers believe the decline in Chinook salmon in the early 1970s and decline of chum salmon in the late 1970s may have reduced the presence of the whales in the canal.’
    • ‘However, the name is sometimes used and has recently been applied to the reddish eggs of the chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, of the N. Pacific and Arctic.’
    • ‘The Snoqualmie watershed plays a large role in the survival of the Sound's fish stocks, supporting wild runs of coho, chinook, pink and chum salmon along with steelhead and cutthroat trout.’
    • ‘The center's main mission is to catch adult chum salmon and strip their eggs and sperm for artificial reproduction.’
    • ‘Plasma levels of GH increase following seawater exposure of coho, chum and Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout.’
    • ‘Some of the species that enter freshwater to spawn are western brook lamprey, pacific lamprey, river lamprey, green sturgeon, white sturgeon, pink salmon, chum salmon, coho salmon, and sockeye salmon.’
    • ‘Most supermarket salmon is wild Pacific salmon - chinook, coho, pink, sockeye, and chum salmon - or farmed Atlantic salmon from Chile, Canada, Norway, or the United States.’
    • ‘It is possible to catch late king salmon, chum salmon, sockeye salmon, early silver salmon, rainbow trout, dolly varden, grayling and arctic char.’
    • ‘Each run of Pacific chinook, coho, sockeye, pink, and chum salmon knows how to survive in a specific spawning stream.’
    • ‘Another along the McNeil River in Alaska captures the world's largest congregation of brown bears fishing for sockeye, silver, and chum salmon.’
    • ‘Where salmon fishermen once enjoyed sockeye, silver, and chum seasons from July through December, they can now fish only for chum, and the season lasts a scant four or five days.’
    • ‘The Seymour hatchery raises and releases about 750,000 smolts annually, including pink, chum, coho, chinook salmon, cutthroat trout and steelhead.’

Origin

Early 20th century: from Chinook Jargon tzum (samun), literally ‘spotted (salmon)’.

Pronunciation

chum

/CHəm//tʃəm/