[pahr-muh-zahn, -zan, -zuh n; pahr-muh-zahn, -zan]
  1. (sometimes lowercase) Also called Parmesan cheese. a hard, dry variety of Italian cheese made from skim milk, usually grated and sprinkled over pasta dishes and soups.

Origin of Parmesan

1510–20; < Middle French < Italian parmigiano pertaining to Parma Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for parmesan

Contemporary Examples of parmesan

Historical Examples of parmesan

  • Amidst the heavy exhalations of these, a Parmesan set a spicy aroma.

  • Dish them in a circle with spaghetti dressed with Parmesan in the centre.

    Choice Cookery

    Catherine Owen

  • It is also served as an entrée raw, the stalks stuffed with Parmesan cheese.

    The Complete Bachelor

    Walter Germain

  • Parmesan is an Italian cheese, excellent with macaroni and spaghetti.

  • The episodes of Parmesan court intrigue are models of observation and irony.


    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for parmesan


  1. of or relating to Parma or its inhabitants
  1. a native or inhabitant of Parma
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 parmesan



type of dry, hard cheese, 1550s, from Italian Parmegiano "of Parma," from Parma, city in northern Italy, one of the places where the cheese is made. Full form parmeson chese is recorded from 1510s. The place name ultimately is Etruscan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper