marshmallow

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See also: Marshmallow

English[edit]

a marshmallow flower
Althaea officinalis
Marshmallows (confection).
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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English mersċmealwe, corresponding to marsh +‎ mallow.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /mɑːʃˈmæləʊ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmɑɹʃˌmɛl.oʊ/, /ˈmɑɹʃˌmæl.oʊ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æləʊ

Noun[edit]

marshmallow (plural marshmallows)

  1. A species of mallow, Althaea officinalis, that grows in marshy terrain. [from 9th c.]
    • 1653, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician Enlarged, Folio Society 2007, page 180:
      Our common Marsh Mallows have diverse soft, hoary white stalks rising to be three or four foot high, spreading forth many branches.
  2. A type of confectionery, originally (since Ancient Egyptian times) made from this plant, but now generally made of sugar or corn syrup, gelatin that has been pre-softened in water, gum arabic, flavorings, and sometimes beaten egg whites, all whipped to a spongy consistency. [from 19th c.]
    • 1906, Elbert Hubbard, Love, Life and Work:
      The Disagreeable Girl is a female of the genus homo persuasion, built around a digestive apparatus that possesses marked marshmallow proclivities.
    • December 1915, P. G. Wodehouse, "My Battle with Drink", in Vanity Fair
      It was an apple marshmallow sundae, I recollect. I dug my spoon into it with an assumption of gaiety which I was far from feeling.
  3. (figuratively) Someone who is soft and benign.
    He acts like a total badass, but he's really just a marshmallow once you get to know him.

Descendants[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

marshmallow (third-person singular simple present marshmallows, present participle marshmallowing, simple past and past participle marshmallowed)

  1. To soften (literally or figuratively)
    • 2005, Ken Gunther, Lilith: A Biography
      For i could still feel her small face in my hands, her lips marshmallowing under the brushing knuckle of my index, the hard press of her capable contoured body.
    • 2005, Joylynn Jossel, If I Ruled the World
      He didn't know if touching me meant that I would marshmallow up or if he would have to brace himself for a blow.
    • 2011, JB Sanders, Glen & Tyler's Honeymoon Adventure
      Various dishes heaped with food were tucked haphazardly all over: mounds of whipped potatoes, medleys of buttered vegetables, marshmallowed sweet potatoes, oyster stuffing, cranberry sauce (fresh from the can) and even more dishes

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English marshmallow.

Noun[edit]

marshmallow m (plural marshmallows)

  1. marshmallow (pre-softened confectionery made with sugar, corn syrup, egg whites and gelatin)

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English marshmallow.

Noun[edit]

marshmallow m (plural marshmallows)

  1. marshmallow