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Transliteration of Biblical Hebrew חמץ ‎(leavened bread, leaven, ferment, corruption, extortion).


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  1. Food made from leavened grain flour. The Torah states that Jews are not permitted to eat or drink it during the festival of Pesach (Passover), nor own it or even be seen with it, but must remove it from their houses and land at the beginning of the festival.
    • c.1998: Rabbi Y D Webster, The Halachos of Pesach [1] - Any flour of the five species of grain (wheat, spelt, oats, barley and rye) ... which becomes mixed with water and allowed to ferment for more than eighteen minutes before being baked is considered chometz.
    • a.2006: Rabbi Lawrence Rigal, Jewish Customs and Practices: Pesach (Passover) [2] - All chamets found is carefully bundled up and taken outside and burnt.
    • a.2006: London Borough of Barnet, UK, Street Cleaning Programme: Special Services [3] - Every year we provide skips for the Jewish community to dispose of chometz (Passover waste).
    • 2006, The Press, Barnet and Whetstone edition 6 April 2006 - The [Barnet council] skips are to be used only to dispose of chometz and will be clearly marked.
  2. Arrogance, pride, artifice (this usage is based on a disputed translation of the Hebrew source word)
    • 2000, Rabbi Zeitlin, Congregation Beth Ha'ari, Pesach 2000: Chametz [4] - The real chametz we want to eliminate is that within our personalities and actions.


  • The sources of the Rabbinical quotations above, accessed on 7 April 2006