• (RP, America) IPA: /tʃʌm/
1675–85; of uncertain origin, possibly from cham, shortening of chambermate, or from comrade. Noun

chum (plural chums)

  1. A friend; a pal.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:friend
    I ran into an old chum from school the other day.
  2. (dated) A roommate, especially in a college or university.
    • 1856 in The Knickerbocker: Or, New-York Monthly Magazine
      Field had a 'chum,' or room-mate, whose visage was suggestive to the 'Sophs;' it invited experiment; it held out opportunity for their peculiar deviltry.
Translations Translations
  • Italian: vicino di stanza, compagno di stanza
  • Russian: това́рищ

chum (chums, present participle chumming; past and past participle chummed)

  1. (intransitive) To share rooms with someone; to live together.
    • 1899 Clyde Bowman Furst, A Group of Old Authors
      Henry Wotton and John Donne began to be friends when, as boys, they chummed together at Oxford, where Donne had gone at the age of twelve years.
  2. (transitive) To lodge (somebody) with another person or people.
  3. (intransitive) To make friends; to socialize.
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, […], OCLC 1042815524 ↗, part I:
      I was not surprised to see somebody sitting aft, on the deck, with his legs dangling over the mud. You see I rather chummed with the few mechanics there were in that station, whom the other pilgrims naturally despised—on account of their imperfect manners, I suppose.
    • 1902 Ernest William Hornung, The Amateur Cracksman []
      "You'll make yourself disliked on board!"
      "By von Heumann merely."
      "But is that wise when he's the man we've got to diddle?"
      "The wisest thing I ever did. To have chummed up with him would have been fatal -- the common dodge."
  4. (transitive, Scotland, informal) To accompany.
    I'll chum you down to the shops.