Try Our Apps


WATCH "Lumbersexual"


[shoo g-er] /ˈʃʊg ər/
a sweet, crystalline substance, C 1 2 H 2 2 O 1 1 , obtained chiefly from the juice of the sugarcane and the sugar beet, and present in sorghum, maple sap, etc.: used extensively as an ingredient and flavoring of certain foods and as a fermenting agent in the manufacture of certain alcoholic beverages; sucrose.
Chemistry. a member of the same class of carbohydrates, as lactose, glucose, or fructose.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an affectionate or familiar term of address, as to a child or a romantic partner (sometimes offensive when used to strangers, casual acquaintances, subordinates, etc., especially by a male to a female).
a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter S.
Slang. money.
Slang. LSD.
verb (used with object)
to cover, sprinkle, mix, or sweeten with sugar.
to make agreeable.
verb (used without object)
to form sugar or sugar crystals.
to make maple sugar.
Verb phrases
sugar off, (in making maple sugar) to complete the boiling down of the syrup in preparation for granulation.
Origin of sugar
1250-1300; Middle English sugre, sucre (noun) < Middle French sucre < Medieval Latin succārum < Italian zucchero < Arabic sukkar; obscurely akin to Persian shakar, Greek sákcharon (see sacchar-)
Related forms
sugarless, adjective
sugarlike, adjective
nonsugar, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sugar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her heart's made of honey and sugar, and everything soft and sticky.

    Reels and Spindles Evelyn Raymond
  • He stretched out his palm heaped with the sugar to his master.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • Then he got the cream, sugar and three spoons, put them on the table, and poured the coffee.

    Stopover William Gerken
  • I had a new dress on the Christmas-tree, and a sugar basket.

    Little Prudy Sophie May
  • Billy Gard and his truck were emerging from the shed for a new load of sugar.

    Uncle Sam Detective William Atherton Du Puy
British Dictionary definitions for sugar


Also called sucrose, saccharose. a white crystalline sweet carbohydrate, a disaccharide, found in many plants and extracted from sugar cane and sugar beet: it is used esp as a sweetening agent in food and drinks. Formula: C12H22O11 related adjective saccharine
any of a class of simple water-soluble carbohydrates, such as sucrose, lactose, and fructose
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) a term of affection, esp for one's sweetheart
(rare) a slang word for money
a slang name for LSD
(transitive) to add sugar to; make sweet
(transitive) to cover or sprinkle with sugar
(intransitive) to produce sugar
sugar the pill, sugar the medicine, to make something unpleasant more agreeable by adding something pleasant: the government stopped wage increases but sugared the pill by reducing taxes
Derived Forms
sugarless, adjective
sugar-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13 suker, from Old French çucre, from Medieval Latin zuccārum, from Italian zucchero, from Arabic sukkar, from Persian shakar, from Sanskrit śarkarā


Alan (Michael). Baron. born 1947, British electronics entrepreneur; chairman of Amstrad (1968–2008); noted for his BBC series The Apprentice (from 2005)
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 sugar

late 13c., sugre, from Old French sucre "sugar" (12c.), from Medieval Latin succarum, from Arabic sukkar, from Persian shakar, from Sanskrit sharkara "ground or candied sugar," originally "grit, gravel" (cognate with Greek kroke "pebble"). The Arabic word also was borrowed in Italian (zucchero), Spanish (azucar), and German (Old High German zucura, German Zucker), and its forms are represented in most European languages (cf. Serb. cukar, Polish cukier, Russian sakhar).

Its Old World home was India (Alexander the Great's companions marveled at the "honey without bees") and it remained exotic in Europe until the Arabs began to cultivate it in Sicily and Spain; not until after the Crusades did it begin to rival honey as the West's sweetener. The Spaniards in the West Indies began raising sugar cane in 1506; first grown in Cuba 1523; first cultivated in Brazil 1532. The -g- in the English form cannot be accounted for. The pronunciation shift from s- to sh- is probably from the initial long vowel sound syu- (as in sure). Slang "euphemistic substitute for an imprecation" [OED] is attested from 1891. As a term of endearment, first recorded 1930. Sugar maple is from 1753. Sugar loaf was originally a moulded conical mass of refined sugar (early 15c.); they're now obsolete, but sense extended 17c. to hills, hats, etc. of that shape.


early 15c., "to sweeten with sugar," also figuratively, "to make more pleasing, mitigate the harshness of," from sugar (n.). Related: Sugared; sugaring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
sugar in Medicine

sugar sug·ar (shug'ər)

  1. A crystalline or powdered substance consisting of sucrose obtained mainly from sugar cane and sugar beets and used in many medicines to improve their taste.

  2. Any of a class of water-soluble crystalline carbohydrates, including sucrose and lactose, having a characteristically sweet taste and classified as monosaccharides, disaccharides, and trisaccharides.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
sugar in Science
Any of a class of crystalline carbohydrates that are water-soluble, have a characteristic sweet taste, and are universally present in animals and plants. They are characterized by the many OH groups they contain. Sugars are monosaccharides or small oligosaccharides, and include sucrose, glucose, and lactose.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for sugar



  1. Money; bread: I'd take a trip if I had the requisite sugar (1859+)
  2. Dear one; sweetheart • Most often a term of address: I hear you, sugar (1930+)
  3. Heroin, cocaine, or morphine (1930s+ Narcotics)
  4. acid, lsd (1950s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms

heavy money

[second narcotics sense fr the taking of LSD soaked in a sugar cube]

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

A simple lazy functional language designed at Westfield College, University of London, UK and used in Principles of Functional Programming, Hugh Glaser et al, P-H 1984.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sugar

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sugar

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sugar