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or maccaroni

[mak-uh-roh-nee] /ˌmæk əˈroʊ ni/
noun, plural macaronis, macaronies for 2.
small, tubular pasta prepared from wheat flour.
an English dandy of the 18th century who affected Continental mannerisms, clothes, etc.
Origin of macaroni
1590-1600; earlier maccaroni < dialectal Italian, plural of maccarone (Italian maccherone). See macaroon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for macaroni
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Serve in a hot dish, with a border of boiled rice or macaroni.

    The Skilful Cook Mary Harrison
  • Put a layer of macaroni in the bottom of a greased pie-dish.

    The Skilful Cook Mary Harrison
  • Proceed in this way, until the dish is full (the top layer must be macaroni).

    The Skilful Cook Mary Harrison
  • macaroni, rice, and such things are left a prey to mice or insects.

  • The issues, clear enough to us, seem to him mixed as macaroni.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
British Dictionary definitions for macaroni


noun (pl) -nis, -nies
pasta tubes made from wheat flour
(in 18th-century Britain) a dandy who affected foreign manners and style
Word Origin
C16: from Italian (Neapolitan dialect) maccarone, probably from Greek makaria food made from barley
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 macaroni

"tube-shaped food made of dried wheaten paste" [Klein], 1590s, from southern Italian dialectal maccaroni (Italian maccheroni), plural of maccarone, name for a kind of pasty food, possibly from maccare "bruise, batter, crush," of unknown origin, or from late Greek makaria "food made from barley."

Used after c.1764 to mean "fop, dandy" (e.g. "Yankee Doodle") because it was an exotic dish at a time when certain young men who had traveled the continent were affecting French and Italian fashions and accents. There is said to have been a Macaroni Club in Britain, which was the immediate source of the term.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for macaroni



  1. Sawdust (1940s+ Loggers)
  2. gangster; mafioso: The macaronis are shooting each other (1980s+)

[macaroni, ''an Italian,'' is found by 1845]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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