Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[poh-len-tuh] /poʊˈlɛn tə/
(especially in Italian cooking) a thick mush of cornmeal.
Origin of polenta
1555-65; < Italian < Latin: hulled and crushed grain, especially barley Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for polenta
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The polenta family were the first to befriend the great poet when he sought refuge here from Florence.

    Cathedral Cities of Italy William Wiehe Collins
  • Might it not just as well be rice, or polenta, or even beef and bacon?

    Soliloquies in England George Santayana
  • There was boiled fish in one of the kettles and corn meal mush, or polenta, in the other one.

    The Sunbonnet Babies in Italy Eulalie Osgood Grover
  • An old woman and her son were cooking their polenta, but no herds were in sight.

    Italian Alps Douglas William Freshfield
  • He then with Oriental deliberation set about making a fire, and proceeded to cook his polenta of maize.

    Round About the Carpathians Andrew F. Crosse
British Dictionary definitions for polenta


a thick porridge made in Italy, usually from maize
Word Origin
C16: via Italian from Latin: pearl barley, perhaps from Greek palē pollen
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for polenta

Old English polente, from Latin pollenta, polenta, literally "peeled barley," related to pollen "fine flour," from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (1) "flour; dust" (see pollen). Later reborrowed from Italian polenta, from the Latin word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for polenta

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for polenta

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for polenta