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]

Old English merscmealwe, corresponding to marsh +‎ mallow.

Pronunciation[edit]

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, p. 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 consisting of sugar or corn syrup, beaten egg whites, gelatin that has been pre-softened in water, gum arabic and flavorings, 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.

Translations[edit]