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[ih-nam-uh l] /ɪˈnæm əl/
a glassy substance, usually opaque, applied by fusion to the surface of metal, pottery, etc., as an ornament or for protection.
any of various varnishes, paints, coatings, etc., drying to a hard, glossy finish.
any enamellike surface with a bright luster.
an artistic work executed in enamel.
Dentistry. the hard, glossy, calcareous covering of the crown of a tooth, containing only a slight amount of organic substance.
verb (used with object), enameled, enameling or (especially British) enamelled, enamelling.
to inlay or overlay with enamel.
to form an enamellike surface upon:
to enamel cardboard.
to decorate as with enamel; variegate with colors.
Origin of enamel
1275-1325; Middle English enamelen < Anglo-French enameler, enamailler, equivalent to en- en-1 + -amaler, derivative of asmal, esmal enamel, Old French esmail (-al taken as the suffix -ail) < Old Low Franconian *smalt- something melted, cognate with German Schmalz fat; akin to smelt1; cf. smalto
Related forms
enameler; especially British, enameller, noun
enamelist; especially British, enamellist, noun
enamelwork, noun
unenameled, adjective
unenamelled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for enameled
Historical Examples
  • At last the last plate and enameled cup was washed and dried.

  • Stationary tubs may be made of wood, of enameled iron, or of slate.

    Rural Hygiene Henry N. Ogden
  • The wash-basin in the bath-room is either marble, enameled iron, or porcelain.

    Rural Hygiene Henry N. Ogden
  • Matte Enamel, medium weight; enameled, medium weight; Velvet, medium weight.

  • It was brought to her in an enameled cup from which she was accustomed to drink.

  • They are now enameled, or the top of them is made of celluloid in a color to match the shoe.

    Makers of Many Things Eva March Tappan
  • The tags on lacings and the hooks for holding lacings are also enameled.

    Makers of Many Things Eva March Tappan
  • In time we reached a bank all blue and white with enameled innocents.

    Everyday Adventures Samuel Scoville
  • These take their name from their enameled plates or scales of bone.

    The Elements of Geology William Harmon Norton
  • He states in his records that he was inspired by seeing an enameled cup.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
British Dictionary definitions for enameled


a coloured glassy substance, translucent or opaque, fused to the surface of articles made of metal, glass, etc, for ornament or protection
an article or articles ornamented with enamel
an enamel-like paint or varnish
any smooth glossy coating resembling enamel
another word for nail polish
the hard white calcified substance that covers the crown of each tooth
  1. decorated or covered with enamel: an enamel ring
  2. made with enamel: enamel paste
verb (transitive) -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
to inlay, coat, or otherwise decorate with enamel
to ornament with glossy variegated colours, as if with enamel
to portray in enamel
Derived Forms
enameller, enamellist, (US) enameler, enamelist, noun
enamelwork, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French esmail, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German smalz lard; see smelt1
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 enameled



early 15c., from enamel (v.).



early 14c., from Anglo-French enamailler (early 14c.), from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + amailler "to enamel," variant of Old French esmailler, from esmal "enamel," from Frankish *smalt, from Proto-Germanic *smaltjan "to smelt" (see smelt (v.)). Related: Enameled; enameling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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enameled in Medicine

enamel e·nam·el (ĭ-nām'əl)
The hard, calcareous substance covering the exposed portion of a tooth.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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enameled in Science
The hard, translucent substance covering the exposed portion of a tooth in mammals. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, and consists mostly of calcium salts.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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enameled in Culture

enamel definition

The hard, white substance that covers the crown of a tooth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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