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[pop-kawrn] /ˈpɒpˌkɔrn/
any of several varieties of corn whose kernels burst open and puff out when subjected to dry heat.
popped corn.
peanut (def 4c).
Origin of popcorn
1810-20, Americanism; short for popped corn. See pop1, -ed2, corn1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for popcorn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then something sound like popcorn beginning to pop real slow.

  • Ellen stood facing the men, with the white festoons of popcorn in her hands.

    Christmas Zona Gale
  • popcorn and apples—Armenian laces, even—beg a quicker audience.

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • We followed with our popcorn, but Antonia hung back—said she had to get her cake into the oven.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • We never got anything as nice as popcorn and peanuts in the jungle, did we?

British Dictionary definitions for popcorn


a variety of maize having hard pointed kernels that puff up when heated
the puffed edible kernels of this plant
Word Origin
C19: so called because of the noise the grains make when they swell up and burst on heating
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 popcorn

1819, from pop (v.) + corn (n.1).

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



  1. Something trivial and insubstantial: Gimbel called the charges ''popcorn''
  2. Something easily done; breeze, piece of cake: As for Streep, she does what she is asked to do. But the role is popcorn (1973+)
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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