[ ih-nam-uhl ]
See synonyms for: enamelenameledenamelingenamelled on Thesaurus.com

  1. a glassy substance, usually opaque, applied by fusion to the surface of metal, pottery, etc., as an ornament or for protection.

  1. any of various varnishes, paints, coatings, etc., drying to a hard, glossy finish.

  2. any enamellike surface with a bright luster.

  3. an artistic work executed in enamel.

  4. Dentistry. the hard, glossy, calcareous covering of the crown of a tooth, containing only a slight amount of organic substance.

verb (used with object),e·nam·eled, e·nam·el·ing or (especially British) e·nam·elled, e·nam·el·ling.
  1. to inlay or overlay with enamel.

  2. to form an enamellike surface upon: to enamel cardboard.

  1. to decorate as with enamel; variegate with colors.

Origin of enamel

1275–1325; Middle English enamelen<Anglo-French enameler, enamailler, equivalent to en-en-1 + -amaler, derivative of asmal, esmal enamel, Old French esmail (-al taken as the suffix -ail) <Old Low Franconian *smalt- something melted, cognate with German Schmalz fat; akin to smelt1; cf. smalto

Other words from enamel

  • e·nam·el·er; especially British, e·nam·el·ler, noun
  • e·nam·el·ist; especially British, e·nam·el·list, noun
  • e·nam·el·work, noun
  • un·e·nam·eled, adjective
  • un·e·nam·elled, adjective

Words Nearby enamel

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use enamel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for enamel


/ (ɪˈnæməl) /

  1. a coloured glassy substance, translucent or opaque, fused to the surface of articles made of metal, glass, etc, for ornament or protection

  2. an article or articles ornamented with enamel

  1. an enamel-like paint or varnish

  2. any smooth glossy coating resembling enamel

  3. another word for nail polish

  4. the hard white calcified substance that covers the crown of each tooth

  5. (modifier)

    • decorated or covered with enamel: an enamel ring

    • made with enamel: enamel paste

verb-els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled (tr)
  1. to inlay, coat, or otherwise decorate with enamel

  2. to ornament with glossy variegated colours, as if with enamel

  1. to portray in enamel

Origin of enamel

C15: from Old French esmail, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German smalz lard; see smelt 1

Derived forms of enamel

  • enameller, enamellist, US enameler or enamelist, noun
  • enamelwork, noun

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

Scientific definitions for enamel


[ ĭ-năməl ]

  1. The hard, translucent substance covering the exposed portion of a tooth in mammals. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, and consists mostly of calcium salts.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for enamel


The hard, white substance that covers the crown of a tooth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.