Definition of KETCHUP


Ketchup is primarily a noun referring to a thick, tangy sauce typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and various seasonings. It is commonly used as a condiment.

As a noun, ketchup refers to a popular condiment that is often used on foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, and more. For example, “She added ketchup to her burger,” indicates the usage of the sauce.

Ingredients and Variations: Ketchup is traditionally made from tomatoes, but it can also include ingredients like onions, garlic, and spices. There are variations such as spicy ketchup or gourmet versions with different flavor profiles. For instance, “The restaurant served a unique spicy ketchup,” highlights a variation of the traditional condiment.

Culinary Uses: Ketchup is used in a variety of culinary contexts, both as a condiment and an ingredient in recipes. For example, “He mixed ketchup into the meatloaf for added flavor,” shows its use in cooking.

Cultural Significance: Ketchup holds cultural significance in many countries, particularly in the United States, where it is a staple in households and fast food restaurants. For instance, “Ketchup is a common sight at American dinner tables,” reflects its cultural presence.

Historical Background: The origin of ketchup dates back to ancient China, where a fermented fish sauce called “ke-tsiap” was used. The modern tomato-based version became popular in the 19th century. For example, “Ketchup has evolved from a fish sauce to the tomato condiment we know today,” outlines its history.

Commercial Production: Ketchup is produced commercially by numerous brands, with variations in taste, texture, and packaging. Major brands like Heinz and Hunt’s dominate the market. For instance, “Heinz is one of the most well-known ketchup brands worldwide,” indicates its market presence.

Health and Nutrition: While ketchup is enjoyed for its flavor, it is also scrutinized for its sugar and sodium content. Health-conscious individuals might seek out low-sugar or organic versions. For example, “She opted for an organic ketchup with less sugar,” suggests a healthier choice.

In conclusion, ketchup is a versatile and widely-used condiment with a rich history and cultural significance. As a noun, it represents the familiar tomato-based sauce that enhances the flavor of various dishes. From its origins to its modern-day variations, ketchup continues to be a beloved and essential part of many culinary traditions.

Examples of KETCHUP in a sentence

  • He put a generous amount of ketchup on his fries.
  • The children loved to dip their chicken nuggets in ketchup.
  • She added a dollop of ketchup to her burger.
  • The restaurant provided packets of ketchup on each table.
  • He slathered his hot dog with mustard and ketchup.
  • The bottle of ketchup was nearly empty, so they bought a new one.
  • She preferred spicy ketchup over the regular variety.
  • They stocked up on ketchup for the barbecue party.

Origin of KETCHUP

The term ketchup has its etymological origins rooted in Southeast Asian languages.

  • Southeast Asian Origins: “Ketchup” traces its roots back to the Hokkien Chinese word “kê-tsiap” (鮭汁), which referred to a fermented fish sauce. This sauce was widely used in Southeast Asia, particularly in regions like present-day Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • Colonial Influence: European traders and explorers encountered various condiments during their voyages to Southeast Asia. They adapted the local “kê-tsiap” sauce, incorporating ingredients like tomatoes, vinegar, and spices to create a version more palatable to Western tastes.
  • Evolution in Europe: The modified sauce gained popularity in Europe, particularly in Britain, where it was initially known as “catsup” or “catchup.” Over time, the spelling evolved to “ketchup,” and the sauce became a staple condiment in British and American cuisine.
  • Global Spread: Ketchup’s popularity continued to grow, spreading to other parts of the world through colonial trade routes and globalization. It became synonymous with American fast food culture and is now consumed in various forms and flavors worldwide.

From its origins as a fermented fish sauce in Southeast Asia to its transformation into a tomato-based condiment embraced globally, the term ketchup exemplifies the cross-cultural exchange and culinary innovation that characterize our interconnected world.


  • Tomato sauce
  • Condiment
  • Red sauce
  • Catsup
  • Dip
  • Dressing
  • Relish
  • Salsa


  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tartar sauce


  • Tomato
  • Flavoring
  • Bottle
  • Fast food
  • Burger
  • French fries
  • Tomato-based
  • Dip

🌐 🇬🇧 KETCHUP in other languages

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