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noun, plural can·dies.
  1. any of a variety of confections made with sugar, syrup, etc., often combined with chocolate, fruit, nuts, etc.
  2. a single piece of such a confection.
  3. Slang. cocaine.
  4. someone or something that is pleasing or pleasurable, usually in a superficial way (often used in combination): The show is candy, but enjoy it for what it is. See also arm candy, ear candy, eye candy.
verb (used with object), can·died, can·dy·ing.
  1. to cook in sugar or syrup, as sweet potatoes or carrots.
  2. to cook in heavy syrup until transparent, as fruit, fruit peel, or ginger.
  3. to reduce (sugar, syrup, etc.) to a crystalline form, usually by boiling down.
  4. to coat with sugar: to candy dates.
  5. to make sweet, palatable, or agreeable.
verb (used without object), can·died, can·dy·ing.
  1. to become covered with sugar.
  2. to crystallize into sugar.

Origin of candy

1225–75; Middle English candi, sugre candi candied sugar < Middle French sucre candi; candiArabic qandī < Persian qandi sugar < Sanskrit khaṇḍakaḥ sugar candy
Related formscan·dy·like, adjective


  1. a female given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for candy


noun plural -dies
  1. mainly US and Canadian confectionery in general; sweets, chocolate, etc
  2. a person or thing that is regarded as being attractive but superficialarm candy
  3. like taking candy from a baby informal very easy to accomplish
verb -dies, -dying or -died
  1. to cause (sugar, etc) to become crystalline, esp by boiling or (of sugar) to become crystalline through boiling
  2. to preserve (fruit peel, ginger, etc) by boiling in sugar
  3. to cover with any crystalline substance, such as ice or sugar

Word Origin for candy

C18: from Old French sucre candi candied sugar, from Arabic qandi candied, from qand cane sugar, of Dravidian origin
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 candy

late 13c., "crystalized sugar," from Old French çucre candi "sugar candy," ultimately from Arabic qandi, from Persian qand "cane sugar," probably from Sanskrit khanda "piece (of sugar)," perhaps from Dravidian (cf. Tamil kantu "candy," kattu "to harden, condense").


1530s, from candy (n.). Related: Candied; candying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper