[kahr-duh-muh m]


the aromatic seed capsules of a tropical Asian plant, Elettaria cardamomum, of the ginger family, used as a spice or condiment and in medicine.
the plant itself.
a related plant, Amomum compactum, or its seeds, used as a substitute for true cardamom.

Also car·da·mon [kahr-duh-muh n] /ˈkɑr də mən/, car·da·mum.

Origin of cardamom

1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin cardamōmum < Greek kardámōnon, blend of kárdamon cress and ámōmon a spice plant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cardamom

Contemporary Examples of cardamom

Historical Examples of cardamom

  • The dish was seasoned with salt, pepper, cardamom, and sumach.

    Our Little Turkish Cousin

    Mary Hazelton Wade

  • Columbian spirits, caramel, cinnamon and cardamom, and a touch of the buchu.

    The Clarion

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • The natives spread over the leaf a little slaked-lime, and place at one end a small piece of areca-nut and cardamom.

    Old Jack

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • On the Cardamom Hills there may still exist a tribe of dwarfs, of which very little is known.

  • At the season of the cardamom crop, they come down to the plains once a week with the produce.

British Dictionary definitions for cardamom


cardamum cardamon (ˈkɑːdəmən)


a tropical Asian zingiberaceous plant, Elettaria cardamomum, that has large hairy leaves
the seeds of this plant, used esp as a spice or condiment
a related East Indian plant, Amomum cardamomum, whose seeds are used as a substitute for cardamom seeds

Word Origin for cardamom

C15: from Latin cardamōmum, from Greek kardamōmon, from kardamon cress + amōmon an Indian spice
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 cardamom

1550s, from French cardamome, from Latin cardamomum, from Greek kardamomon, from kardamon "cress" (of unknown origin) + amomon "spice plant." The word was in English from late 14c. in Latin form.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper