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See also: Marshmallow


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


Old English merscmealwe, corresponding to marsh +‎ mallow.



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.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) 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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) PH Wodehouse, A Wodehouse Miscellany:
      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.




marshmallow m (plural marshmallows)

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