[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 cardamon

Historical Examples of cardamon

  • Add one chive, one cardamon, two cloves, half a nutmeg and salt to taste.

  • Your pa in his day ate three carloads of cardamon seeds and cloves and used listerine by the barrel.

    In Our Town

    William Allen White

  • Color the liquid yellow with a little turmeric; add salt, six cloves, two cardamon seeds, and twelve pepper berries.

    The Khaki Kook Book

    Mary Kennedy Core

  • The butter also is omitted at the last, but the almond, rose water, and cardamon seed are usually added.

    The Khaki Kook Book

    Mary Kennedy Core

  • I'm sure she had cardamon seeds in her shabby bag, and a carriage with a crest on it waiting for her just around the corner.

British Dictionary definitions for cardamon


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 cardamon



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