[ kahr-duh-muh m ]
/ ˈkɑr də məm /


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.

Nearby words

  1. card vote,
  2. card-carrying,
  3. card-cut,
  4. card-key,
  5. card.,
  6. cardamom hills,
  7. cardamoms,
  8. cardamon,
  9. cardan joint,
  10. cardboard

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

British Dictionary definitions for cardamom


cardamum cardamon (ˈkɑːdəmən)

/ (ˈkɑːdəməm) /


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