Borrowed from French caramel, from Spanish caramelo, from Portuguese caramelo, dissimilated from Late Latin calamellus, diminutive of calamus (“reed”) (and therefore a doublet of chalumeau and shawm), from Ancient Greek κᾰ́λᾰμος (kálamos), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱolh₂mos. Alternatively from Medieval Latin cannamellis, which is a compound of canna + mellis.
- (Received Pronunciation, General Australian, New Zealand, General American, Mary–marry–merry distinction) IPA(key): /ˈkæɹ.ə.mɛl/, /ˈkæɹ.ə.məl/
- (General American, Mary–marry–merry merger) IPA(key): /ˈkɛɹ.ə.mɛl/, /ˈkɛɹ.ə.məl/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɑɹ.məl/, /ˈkɑɹ.ə.məl/
Audio (US) (file)
Both the two-syllable and the three-syllable pronunciations are very common in all regions of the United States. The three-syllable pronunciation is more common than the two-syllable one in the South (excluding western Texas), northern New Jersey, eastern New York, and New England, while the two-syllable one is more common in other regions.
- (uncountable) A smooth, chewy, sticky confection made by heating sugar and other ingredients until the sugars polymerize and become sticky.
- (countable) A (sometimes hardened) piece of this confection.
- 2004, Harold McGee, chapter 12, in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Scribner, →ISBN:
- Caramel has a rich, complex flavor and consistency, viscous and sticky and creamy all at once, that works well with most sweets and fruits, with coffee and chocolate, and even with salt: the prized caramels of Brittany are made with a notable dose of sea salt.
- (color) A yellow-brown color, like that of caramel.
caramel (not comparable)
- Of a yellow-brown color.
- 2001, Nicole Sconiers, California Schemin': The Black Woman's Guide to Surviving in LA:
- Every time I saw this caramel cutie, she was working on a new proposal or business plan or flyer to promote herself and her event coordinating business.
- (transitive, cooking, dated) To caramelize.
- 1900, M. M. Mallock, The Economics of Modern Cookery: Or, A Younger Son's Cookery Book:
- To turn out, place the dish over the mould, and invert both together, when, if the caramelling has been complete, the pudding should slip out without any difficulty at all.
- ^ “caramel”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.: /ˈkarəmɛl/, /ˈkarəm(ə)l/
- “caramel”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
- “caramel”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.
- ^ “caramel” (US) / “caramel” (UK) in Macmillan English Dictionary.: /ˈkerəˌmel/, /ˈkɑrməl/
- ^ Dialect Survey map 1, showing that both pronunciations are common in all regions, and map 2, showing which regions the di- and tri-syllabic pronunciations predominate in
caramel m (plural caramels)
caramel m (plural caramels)
- “caramel”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
caramel n (plural carameluri)