• synonyms


[kar-uh-muh l, -mel, kahr-muh l]
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  1. a liquid made by cooking sugar until it changes color, used for coloring and flavoring food.
  2. a kind of chewy candy, commonly in small blocks, made from sugar, butter, milk, etc.
  3. a yellowish brown or tan color.
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Origin of caramel

1715–25; < French < Spanish or Portuguese caramelo < Late Latin calamellus little reed (by dissimilation), equivalent to calam(us) reed (see calamus) + -ellus diminutive suffix; meaning changed by association with Medieval Latin cannamella, canna mellis, etc., sugar cane, equivalent to Latin canna cane + mel honey (genitive mellis)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for caramel

carbohydrate, sweet, cream, dainty, confetti, caramel, candy, levulose, lactose, saccharin, xylose, sucrose, maltose, fructose, dextrose, saccharose, sweetener, glucose, aureate, blond

Examples from the Web for caramel

Contemporary Examples of caramel

Historical Examples of caramel

British Dictionary definitions for caramel


  1. burnt sugar, used for colouring and flavouring food
  2. a chewy sweet made from sugar, butter, milk, etc
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Word Origin for caramel

C18: from French, from Spanish caramelo, of uncertain 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 caramel


1725, from French caramel "burnt sugar" (17c.), via Old Spanish caramel (modern caramelo), ultimately from Medieval Latin cannamellis, traditionally from Latin canna (see cane (n.)) + mellis, genitive of mel "honey" (see Melissa). But some give the Medieval Latin word an Arabic origin, or trace it to Latin calamus "reed, cane."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper