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[kahr-duh-muh m] /ˈkɑr də məm/
the aromatic seed capsules of a tropical Asian plant, Elettaria cardamomum, of the ginger family, used as a spice or condiment and in medicine.
the plant itself.
a related plant, Amomum compactum, or its seeds, used as a substitute for true cardamom.
Also, cardamon
[kahr-duh-muh n] /ˈkɑr də mən/ (Show IPA),
Origin of cardamom
1350-1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin cardamōmum < Greek kardámōnon, blend of kárdamon cress and ámōmon a spice plant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cardamom
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The dish was seasoned with salt, pepper, cardamom, and sumach.

    Our Little Turkish Cousin Mary Hazelton Wade
  • Columbian spirits, caramel, cinnamon and cardamom, and a touch of the buchu.

    The Clarion Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • The natives spread over the leaf a little slaked-lime, and place at one end a small piece of areca-nut and cardamom.

    Old Jack W.H.G. Kingston
  • On the cardamom Hills there may still exist a tribe of dwarfs, of which very little is known.

  • At the season of the cardamom crop, they come down to the plains once a week with the produce.

  • Amomum, a genus of plants, such as the cardamom and grains of paradise, remarkable for their pungency and aromatic properties.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia Edited by Rev. James Wood
  • Like the cardamom, it yields fruit after three years, and then continues producing its pods for an indefinite period.

British Dictionary definitions for cardamom


a tropical Asian zingiberaceous plant, Elettaria cardamomum, that has large hairy leaves
the seeds of this plant, used esp as a spice or condiment
a related East Indian plant, Amomum cardamomum, whose seeds are used as a substitute for cardamom seeds
Word Origin
C15: from Latin cardamōmum, from Greek kardamōmon, from kardamon cress + amōmon an Indian spice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cardamom

1550s, from French cardamome, from Latin cardamomum, from Greek kardamomon, from kardamon "cress" (of unknown origin) + amomon "spice plant." The word was in English from late 14c. in Latin form.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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