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A chicory or endive (Cichorium endivia; sense 1.2)
Roasted common chicory roots used as a coffee substitute (sense 2)

From Late Middle English cicoree, cicory, cicorea, sicory, sycory (common chicory (Cichorium intybus); heliotrope),[1] from Old French cicoree (modern French chicorée (common chicory; endive; coffee substitute made from common chicory)), or directly from its etymon Medieval Latin cicorea, cichorea, *cichōria, from Latin cichorium, cichoreum (common chicory; endive), from Ancient Greek κίχορα (kíkhora), κιχόρεια (kikhóreia), neuter plural of κιχώριον (kikhṓrion, chicory). The English word is cognate with Italian cicórea,[2] and is a doublet of succory.



chicory (countable and uncountable, plural chicories)

  1. (countable) Either of two plants of the Asteraceae family.
    • 1843, William Davidson, “Vegetables. [Chicory or Succory—Endive.]”, in A Treatise on Diet, Comprising the Natural History, Properties, Composition, Adulterations and Uses of the Vegetables, Animals, Fishes, &c., Used as Food, London: John Churchill; [], →OCLC, part II (Aliments), pages 164–165:
      Endive—is another species of chicory, and a native of the East Indies. It was introduced into this country in 1548, is a hardy annual, requires a rich soil to secure its rapid maturity, and is blanched by tying up the leaves when it has attained its full growth. [...] It is used as a salad, ragout, or as a constituent of soups, &c.; and is considered very digestible and well adapted as a green vegetable for those who have delicate digestive organs.
    • 1854, Charles Lever, “Letter II. Mrs. Dodd to Mistress Mary Gallagher, at Dodsborough.”, in The Dodd Family Abroad, London: Chapman and Hall,  [], →OCLC, page 5:
      The eating is beautiful; that must be allowed. Two soups, three fishes, five roast chickens, and a piece of veal, stewed with cherries; a dish of chops with chickory, and a meat-pie garnished with cockscombs— [...]
    • 1886 November, Grant Allen, “Thistles”, in The Popular Science Monthly, volume XXX, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton and Company, [], →OCLC, page 108:
      In yet others the whole mass of the florets, central as well as external, has assumed this ray-like or strap-like form; and to this group belong the dandelions, hawk-weeds, salsifies, lettuces, sow-thistles, chiccories, nippleworts, and cat's-ears.
    1. (chiefly Britain) The common chicory (Cichorium intybus), the source of Belgian endive, radicchio, and sugarloaf.
      Synonyms: blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailor, blue weed, chicory button, coffeeweed, cornflower, hendibeh, horseweed, ragged sailor, succory, wild bachelor's button, wild endive
      • 1815 June, Richard Peters, “Original Letter from Judge Peters of Pennsylvania, with Remarks on the Culture of Chiccory, the Mangel Wurtzel or Scarcity Root, &c. [Addressed to the Hon. Josiah Quincy, Esq.]”, in The Massachusetts Agricultural Repository and Journal, volume III, number 4, Boston, Mass.: Published by the Trustees of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture; printed for the Society, by Ezra B. Tileston, →OCLC, page 350:
        I sent you the chiccory seed for trial, as it is so highly spoken of by A. Young and other British writers, [...] In foreign countries an imitation of coffee is made, by grinding the dried and burnt roots, and mixing a little real coffee wih the ground roots.
      • 1849 April 7, “The Outcry about Chicory”, in William and Robert Chambers, editors, Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal, volume XI, number 275 (New Series), Edinburgh: Published by William and Robert Chambers; London: W[illiam] S[omerville] Orr, →OCLC, page 217, column 1:
        In its fresh vegetable state, chicory, or succory—the Cichorium Intybus of botanists, is said to be a good tonic, and to have the effect of an aperient.
      • 1980 June, The National Herb Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum (Program Aid; no. 1261), [Washington, D.C.]: Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, published May 1993 (revised), →OCLC, paragraph 3:
        The Colonial Garden contains plants brought from the Old World by colonists, as well as native plants that were used in colonial times. Planted here are yarrow (Achillea millefolium), chicory (Cichorium intybus), bee balm (Monarda didyma), and sorrel (Rumex acetosa).
      • 1999, Rosalind Creasy, “Italian Garden Encyclopedia [Chicories (cicorie): Cichorium intybus]”, in The Edible Italian Garden, North Clarendon, Vt.; Singapore: Periplus Editions, →ISBN, page 36, column 2:
        Chicories are a cool-weather salad staple throughout most of Italy. They include the rustic cutting chicories sometimes found growing wild in Italy, the burgundy-colored heading radicchios, and the elegant Belgian endive. All chicories share a mildly bitter taste that can be mitigated by blanching them and soaking them in salted water.
      • 2012, Claire Splan, “Fruits, Herbs, Nuts & Vegetables [Lettuce]”, in California Fruit & Vegetable Gardening: Plant, Grow, and Eat the Best Edibles for California Gardens, Brentwood, Tenn.: Cool Springs Press, →ISBN, page 163:
        Chickory and radicchio (Cichorium intybus), which is a red-leafed chickory, can add a slightly bitter tang to a salad. Green chickories can be sown in early spring.
    2. (chiefly Canada, US) The endive (Cichorium endivia), the source of escarole and frisée.
      • 1821, A. F. M. Willich; Thomas Cooper, “CHICORIUM INTUBUS”, in The Domestic Encyclopedia; or, Dictionary of Facts and Useful Knowledge, Chiefly Applicable to Rural & Domestic Economy. [] In Three Volumes, 2nd American edition, volume I, Philadelphia, Pa.: Printed and published by Abraham Small, [], →OCLC, page 447, column 1:
        The leaves of the cultivated chicory, endive, when blanched, form an ingredient in early spring salads.
      • 1873 January 11, “The Kitchen Garden. [Improved Dandelion.]”, in William Robinson, editor, The Garden: An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Gardening in All Its Branches, volume III, London: Office, 37, Southampton Street, Covent Garden, W.C., →OCLC, page 37, column 2:
        In the beginning of May, 1870, we sowed some seed of this Dandelion in a well prepared bed, in which the roots could easily develope themselves without meeting with any obstacle. The young plants soon appeared above ground, and in autumn we were able to cut from them great quantities of long and large leaves, which made an excellent salad. Others were cooked the same as Chicory (Endive), and were found to be very good.
  2. (uncountable, cooking) A coffee substitute made from the roasted roots of the common chicory, sometimes used as a cheap adulterant in real coffee.
    • 1829, William Law, “Letter V. A Chapter on Chicory.”, in The History of Coffee, including a Chapter on Chicory, London; Edinburgh: Reprinted by William and George Law, [], published 1850, →OCLC, pages 37–38:
      The Coffee planters have invariably waged war against the use of Chicory, under the conscientious conviction that every ounce of Chicory consumed in England displaced an ounce of their Coffee in the market. [...] That the prudent, sensible, moderate use of Chicory has been abused, there can be no question; but the same remark applies to everything which has every been found useful in any branch of manufacture whatever.
    • 1849 April 7, “The Outcry about Chicory”, in William and Robert Chambers, editors, Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal, volume XI, number 275 (New Series), Edinburgh: Published by William and Robert Chambers; London: W[illiam] S[omerville] Orr, →OCLC, page 217, column 1:
      Whatever be the discoverable properties and applications of the dandelion tribe of vegetables, our object in the meanwhile is to see what part chicory is made to perform in the preparation and sale of coffee. [...] Of the flavour of the pure infusion of chicory we have already spoken: it was that of a peculiar bitterish sweet, not very palatable, yet not positively distasteful. [...] The flavour of the mixed coffee and chicory infusion was at once recognised to be that which the beverage called coffee ordinarily has when well made, and which most coffee-drinkers, we should imagine, would prefer.
    • 1872 May 9, [William Darrah] Kelley?, “Tariff and Tax Bill”, in F[ranklin] & J[ohn] Rives and George A. Bailey, editors, The Congressional Globe: Containing the Debates and Proceedings of the Second Session Forty-second Congress; [], part IV, Washington, D.C.: Office of the Congressional Globe, →OCLC, page 3240, column 2:
      Chiccory, as gentlemen know, is a substitute for coffee, and is preferred by many people to coffee. It is recommended by physicians in many cases of nervous disease as a substitute for coffee for the use of those for whose nerves coffee is too violent, yet who are accustomed to that beverage when in health.
    • 1874 March 20, Alfred H. Allen, “Chemistry Applied to the Detection of Adulteration”, in William Crookes, editor, The Chemical News and Journal of Physical Science: A Journal of Practical Chemistry in All Its Applications to Pharmacy, Arts, and Manufactures, volume XXIX, number 747, London: Henry Gillman, [], →OCLC, section I (Coffee and Chicory), page 129, column 1:
      It is a very prevalent idea that the admixture of chicory with coffee is a decided improvement, and de gustibus non est disputandum [tastes cannot be disputed]; but the low price of chicory as compared with coffee is a strong temptation to increase the proportion of chicory to an undue extent.

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  1. ^ cicorēa, cicorẹ̄e, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 April 2019.
  2. ^ chicory, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1889; “chicory, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

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