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Labels on a packet of non-dairy creamer indicating that it is kosher (the Ⓤ symbol of the Orthodox Union) and pareve

Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Yiddish פּאַרעוו, פּאַרעווע(parev, pareve), of uncertain origin. Suggestions include:



pareve (not comparable)

  1. (Jewish law) Of food: that has no meat or milk in any form as an ingredient.
    My mom made a pareve casserole with soy hot dogs.
    • 1970, Statutory Instruments, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, OCLC 843236821, page 4249:
      "Parev ice" includes Kosher ice and means the substance intended for sale for human consumption which resembles ice-cream and which— / (a) is usually known as Parev ice or Kosher ice, and / (b) contains no milk or milk derivatives, []
    • 1990, Bonne Rae London, “Introduction to Kashruth: Why Keep Kosher?”, in Hi-tech Jewish Cooking: Recipes for the Microwave, Processor, Blender and Crock Pot, New York, N.Y.: Shapolsky Publishers, →ISBN, page 4:
      There are on the market many items which resemble such dairy products as coffee cream, sour cream and whipped cream both in taste and appearance but actually are pareve. These are customarily served in the original container to show that the product is pareve despite the dairy appearance.
    • 1991, Hayim Halevy Donin, “The Dietary Laws: A Diet for the Soul”, in To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life: Selected and Compiled from the Shulhan Arukh and Responsa Literature, and Providing a Rationale for the Laws and the Traditions, New York, N.Y.: Basic Books, →ISBN, page 113:
      A food product containing neither meat nor milk, or derived from either is neutral. The Yiddish word parev (parve) or the Hebrew word stam is used to describe this third category. The neutral (parev) category includes (1) everything which grows from the soil: vegetables, fruits, nuts, coffee, spices, sugar, salt, (2) all kosher fish, (3) eggs, and (4) items manufactured from chemicals. Parev foods may be eaten or cooked with either dairy or meat products.
    • 2002 July, Doniel Yehuda Neustadt, דיוני הלכה [Diyune Halakhah]: The Weekly Halachah Discussion: A Review of Practical Halachic Topics Related to the Parashah of the Week, 2nd rev. edition, Jerusalem; Nanuet, N.Y.: Feldheim Publishers, →ISBN, page 205:
      After eating parve food cooked in a meat pot or cut with a meat knife, does one need to wait six hours to eat dairy? Parve food that was cooked in a meat pot [but without any meat in the pot, such as fish cooked in a meat pot] does not require a wait of six hours before dairy may be eaten. [] [Note that our discussion here applies only to dairy food eaten after parve food, not together with it.]
    • 2009, Zushe Yosef Blech, Kosher Food Production, 2nd edition, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Blackwell, →ISBN, page 201:
      From the marketing perspective, most manufacturers would prefer that products not inherently dairy (such as cheese snacks) enjoy a Pareve status. In many situations, however, considerations other than the status of ingredients may make it necessary to confer a Dairy (or Dairy Equipment) status to otherwise potentially Pareve products. Examples of such situations may include: / The equipment used to cook or heat the inherently Pareve items is also used to process dairy products. In such situations, the equipment may require a Kosherization from dairy to Pareve productions, a process which may prove impractical.
    • 2011, Avrom Honig; “Bubbe” [pseudonym], “Quick Notes on Keeping Kosher”, in Feed Me Bubbe: Recipes and Wisdom from America's Favorite Online Grandmother, Philadelphia, Pa.: Running Press, →ISBN:
      In true kosher cooking, meat and dairy should never be combined. Pareve margarine is made up of 100 percent vegetable oil. Dairy margarine has milk as one of the ingredients plus perhaps added vegetable oil. This is why when cooking a meat or dairy meal, if the recipe requires butter or margarine, I substitute it with pareve margarine.
  2. (figuratively, by extension) Neutral, bland, inoffensive.
    • 1994, Paul Wilkes, quoting Jay Rosenbaum, And They Shall Be My People: An American Rabbi and His Congregation, New York, N.Y.: Atlantic Monthly Press, →ISBN:
      Judaism in Cranford [New Jersey] was pareve, neither milk nor meat; it had no edge to it. I didn't see this for my life. I was idealistic. I wanted to deal with issues of faith and morality, and all they were worried about were their High Holiday seats. But then I found out I really liked the contact I had with people's day-to-day problems.
    • [2001, Leo Rosten; Lawrence Bush, “pareve”, in The New Joys of Yiddish, New York, N.Y.: Three Rivers Press, →ISBN, page 281, footnote:
      Just as kosher is used as slang for "legitimate" or "a-okay", pareve has slang connotations, too. A pareve person is wishy-washy and vague; a pareve deed or decision is "neither fish nor fowl," of no great consequence, middle-of-the-roadish.]
    • 2008, Carol K. Ingall; Jeffrey S. Kress, “Nurturing Jewish Values”, in Roberta Louis Goodman, Paul A. Flexner, and Linda Dale Bloomberg, editors, What We Now Know about Jewish Education, Los Angeles, Calif.: Torah Aura Productions, →ISBN, page 291:
      By values we don't mean the personal preferences that made values clarification strategies of the seventies and eighties so pareve; we mean traditional Jewish virtues, middot or ma'alot.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In Yiddish, פּאַרעוו(parev) is the predicative form and פּאַרעווע(pareve) the attributive form of the adjective. Some speakers familiar with Yiddish use this distribution in English as well, e.g., My mom made a pareve casserole but This casserole is parev.


  1. ^ Nochum Stutchkof, "Mame Loshn", page 320
  2. ^ “pareve”, in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language[1], accessed 11 February 2016, archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  3. ^ “pareve”, in Balashon – Hebrew Language Detective[2], 19 June 2006, archived from the original on 13 September 2015.

Further reading[edit]