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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)

Alternative forms[edit]


congee ‎(plural congees)

  1. (obsolete) Formal departure, ceremonial leave-taking.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.i:
      So courteous conge both did giue and take, / With right hands plighted, pledges of good will.
  2. (archaic) A bow.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.17:
      As salutations, reverences, or conges, by which some doe often purchase the honour, (but wrongfully) to be humble, lowly, and courteous [].
    • 1819, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe:
      “My daughter Rebecca, so please your Grace,” answered Isaac, with a low congee, nothing embarrassed by the Prince’s salutation, in which, however, there was at least as much mockery as courtesy.


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

  1. (archaic, transitive) To bow; to incline the body as a sign of respect.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Tamil [script needed] ‎(kañci), perhaps via Portuguese.

Alternative forms[edit]


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congee ‎(usually uncountable, plural congees)

  1. (Asian cooking) A type of thick rice porridge or soup, sometimes prepared with vegetables and/or meat.
Derived terms[edit]
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