[beyn-muh-ree; French ban-ma-ree]

noun, plural bains-ma·rie [beyn-muh-ree; French ban-ma-ree] /ˈbeɪn məˈri; French bɛ̃ maˈri/.

(in cooking) a receptacle containing hot or boiling water into which other containers are placed to warm or cook the food in them.
British. a double boiler.

Origin of bain-marie

1815–25; < French, Middle French, translation of Medieval Latin balneum Mariae literally, bath of Mary, reputed to be a Jewish alchemist who devised such a heating technique, and sometimes identified with Moses' sister Miriam Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for bain-marie


noun plural bains-marie (bɛ̃mari)

a vessel for holding hot water, in which sauces and other dishes are gently cooked or kept warm

Word Origin for bain-marie

C19: from French, from Medieval Latin balneum Mariae, literally: bath of Mary, inaccurate translation of Medieval Greek kaminos Marios, literally: furnace of Miriam, alleged author of a treatise on alchemy
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 bain-marie

1822, from French bain-marie, from Medieval Latin balneum Mariae, literally "bath of Mary." According to French sources, perhaps so called for the gentleness of its heating. Middle English had balne of mary (late 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper