Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[tuh-mah-lee] /təˈmɑ li/
a Mexican dish made of minced and seasoned meat packed in cornmeal dough, wrapped in corn husks, and steamed.
Origin of tamale
1605-15, Americanism; construed as singular of Mexican Spanish tamales, plural of tamal < Nahuatl tamalli


[tuh-mah-lee] /təˈmɑ li/
a city in N Ghana. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for tamale
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There she resumed her tamale in the intervals of conversation.

    The Wrong Woman

    Charles D. Stewart
  • In the middle of the street was a tamale stand surrounded by patrons.

    The Californians

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • The tamale is still a favorite dish, like tortillas and frijoles.

  • She promised to give us all a tamale supper tonight, you know.

    The Long Dim Trail Forrestine C. Hooker
  • A hot 13 tamale, like that Mexican fruit which burns you if you bite into it!

    Pemrose Lorry, Camp Fire Girl

    Isabel Katherine Hornibrook
  • tamale lifted his head and gazed inquiringly up the hill; but Bob was not observant of signs just then.

    The Lure of the Dim Trails by (AKA B. M. Sinclair) B. M. Bower
  • tamale stirred restlessly with head uplifted and ears pointed straight before up the steep bluff.

    The Lure of the Dim Trails by (AKA B. M. Sinclair) B. M. Bower
  • Bob turned and glanced the way tamale was looking; saw nothing, and settled down again on the small of his back.

    The Lure of the Dim Trails by (AKA B. M. Sinclair) B. M. Bower
  • Three rods were stuck into its head, upon each of which was spitted a tamale, or native pie.

British Dictionary definitions for tamale


a Mexican dish made of minced meat mixed with crushed maize and seasonings, wrapped in maize husks and steamed
Word Origin
C19: erroneously for tamal, from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl tamalli
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 tamale

1856, from American Spanish tamales, plural of tamal, from Nahuatl tamal, tamalli, a food made of Indian corn and meat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for tamale

Word Value for tamale

Scrabble Words With Friends