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pho (fō, fŭ)
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n.
A soup of Vietnamese origin typically consisting of rice noodles, onions, herbs, seasonings, and thinly sliced beef or chicken in a clear broth.

[Vietnamese phở, from alteration (possibly to avoid similarity to phẩn, excrement, or by protraction of the vowel in the cries of street vendors) of phấn in nhục phấn, meat and noodle soup (loan translation of Cantonese yuk6 fan2 : yuk6 meat + fan2 flour, rice noodle) : nhục, meat + phấn, flour (from Middle Chinese pun', from Old Chinese *mə.pənʔ, husked rice; perhaps akin to Tibetan dbur, to smooth).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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