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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French congié (modern congé), from Latin commeātus (passage, permission to leave), from commeō (I go and come), from con- + meō (I go, I pass). Figurative senses generally borrowed from developments in French congé.

Alternative forms[edit]


congee (plural congees)

  1. Leave, formal permission for some action, (originally and particularly):
    1. (obsolete) Formal permission to leave; a passport.
  2. (obsolete) Formal dismissal; (figuratively) any dismissal; (originally & particularly humorously ironic) abrupt dismissal without ceremony.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.i:
      So courteous conge both did giue and take,
      With right hands plighted, pledges of good will.
  3. (obsolete) Formal leavetaking; (figuratively) any farewell.
  4. (obsolete, Scotland) A fee paid to make another go away, (particularly) alms to a persistent beggar.
  5. (archaic) A bow, curtsey, or other gesture (originally) made at departure but (later) including at greeting or in obeissance or respect.
Derived terms[edit]


congee (third-person singular simple present congees, present participle congeeing, simple past and past participle congeed)

  1. (archaic) To give congee, (particularly)
    1. (obsolete, transitive) To give formal permission to leave; to dismiss.
    2. (obsolete, transitive) To give formal permission to do something; to license.
  2. (archaic) To take congee: to leave ceremoniously.
  3. (archaic) To make a congee: to bow, curtsey, etc., (particularly dialectal) while leaving; (figuratively) to make obeissance, show respect, or defer to someone or something.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Tamil கஞ்சி (kañci),[1] via Portuguese.

Alternative forms[edit]


English Wikipedia has an article on:

congee (usually uncountable, plural congees)

  1. (Asian cooking) A type of thick rice porridge or soup, sometimes prepared with vegetables and/or meat.
  • (Korean, Thai contexts): jook, juk
  • (Chinese contexts): zhou
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yule, Henry, Sir (1903) Hobson-Jobson: A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive.[1]: “It is from the Tamil kanjī, 'boilings.'”
See also[edit]


  • "congee | congé, n.²" & "v." in the Oxford English Dictionary, 1891.