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[vur-mi-chel-ee, -sel-ee]
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  1. a kind of pasta in the form of long, slender, solid threads, resembling spaghetti but thinner.Compare macaroni(def 1).

Origin of vermicelli

1660–70; < Italian, plural of vermicello, diminutive of verme worm < Latin vermis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for vermicelli


  1. very fine strands of pasta, used in soups
  2. tiny chocolate strands used to coat cakes, etc

Word Origin

C17: from Italian: little worms, from verme a worm, from Latin vermis
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

Word Origin and History for vermicelli


kind of pasta, 1660s, literally "little worms," from Italian vermicelli, plural of vermicello, diminutive of verme, accusative singular of Latin vermis "worm" (see worm). So called for resemblance.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper