A chum is a friend or a pal. You and your best chums might spend the weekend camping together.

The informal word chum is more common in Britain than the US, but you can still talk about your school chums or the new chum you made on a Caribbean cruise. Another kind of chum couldn't be more different from a buddy: it's chopped up fish parts used as bait on a fishing boat. This meaning comes from the Scottish chum, "food," while the first definition was Oxford University slang for a roommate or "chamber fellow."

Definitions of chum
  1. noun
    a close friend who accompanies his or her buddies in their activities
    synonyms: brother, buddy, crony, pal, sidekick
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    Australian term for a pal
    type of:
    a person you know well and regard with affection and trust
  2. noun
    bait consisting of chopped fish and fish oils that are dumped overboard to attract fish
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    type of:
    bait, decoy, lure
    something used to lure fish or other animals into danger so they can be trapped or killed
  3. noun
    a large Pacific salmon with small spots on its back; an important food fish
    synonyms: Oncorhynchus keta, chum salmon
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    type of:
    any of various large food and game fishes of northern waters; usually migrate from salt to fresh water to spawn
Word Family

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