[ tree-kuhl ]
See synonyms for treacle on
  1. contrived or unrestrained sentimentality: a movie plot of the most shameless treacle.

  2. British.

    • molasses, especially that which is drained from the vats used in sugar refining.

    • Also called golden syrup. a mild mixture of molasses, corn syrup, etc., used in cooking or as a table syrup.

  1. Pharmacology, Obsolete. any of various medicinal compounds, formerly used as antidotes for poison.

Origin of treacle

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English, variant of triacle “antidote,” from Middle French, Old French, from Latin thēriaca, from Greek thēriakḗ, noun use of feminine of thēriakós “concerning wild beasts,” equivalent to thērí(on) “wild beast” (thḗr “wild beast” + -ion diminutive suffix) + -akos -ac

Other words from treacle

  • trea·cly [tree-klee], /ˈtri kli/, adjective

Words Nearby treacle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use treacle in a sentence

  • So treacle hath this effect, and many such like, which are hot and dry when taken after connexion.

  • Through the porous substance of these stalks the molasses or treacle slowly drained off.

    Out on the Pampas | G. A. Henty
  • The recipe was brimstone and treacle, but the brimstone predominated, and was the more operative ingredient.

    Flowers of Freethought | George W. Foote

British Dictionary definitions for treacle


/ (ˈtriːkəl) /

  1. Also called: black treacle British a dark viscous syrup obtained during the refining of sugar

  2. British another name for golden syrup

  1. anything sweet and cloying

  2. obsolete any of various preparations used as an antidote to poisoning

Origin of treacle

C14: from Old French triacle, from Latin thēriaca antidote to poison

Derived forms of treacle

  • treacly, adjective
  • treacliness, 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