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[mahr-jer-in, -juh-reen, mahrj-rin] /ˈmɑr dʒər ɪn, -dʒəˌrin, ˈmɑrdʒ rɪn/
a butterlike product made of refined vegetable oils, sometimes blended with animal fats, and emulsified, usually with water or milk.
Also called oleomargarine.
Origin of margarine
1870-75; from French margarin, a glyceryl ester of margar(ic acid) + -in -ine2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for margarine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • margarine and chlesterine, carbonates, sulphates, and ptomaines!

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • margarine and jam were severely relegated to the list of luxuries.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • His face was also like margarine, but of adulterated margarine, certainly.

  • Cocoanut butter is a cheap and excellent substitute for margarine or butter.

    Papers on Health John Kirk
  • Hastily she made the tea and went up with it and the bread and margarine.


    John Galsworthy
  • And as far as the butter goes, it isnt butter—its margarine.

    Mrs. Craddock W. Somerset Maugham
  • It sounds like margarine, she cried, in distasteful reference to the balm.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • Byproducts of the slaughterhouses for tanneries, soap, margarine.

    Ulysses James Joyce
British Dictionary definitions for margarine


/ˌmɑːdʒəˈriːn; ˌmɑːɡə-/
a substitute for butter, prepared from vegetable and animal fats by emulsifying them with water and adding small amounts of milk, salt, vitamins, colouring matter, etc
Word Origin
C19: from margaric
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 margarine

butter substitute, 1873, from French margarine (see margarine). Invented 1869 by French scientist Hippolyte Mège-Mouries and made in part from edible fats and oils.

The "enterprising merchant" of Paris, who sells Margarine as a substitute for Butter, and does not sell his customers by selling it as Butter, and at Butter's value, has very likely found honesty to be the best policy. That policy might perhaps be adopted with advantage by an enterprising British Cheesemonger. ["Punch," Feb. 21, 1874]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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