Words at Play : Top 10 Words for Valentine's Day

#9: Saccharine

Definition:

overly sentimental; mawkish; unpleasantly sweet

Example:

"A clever central conceit, a series of amusing gags, a modicum of drama, and a heartwarming but not too saccharine conclusion." – John Swansburg, reviewing "How I Met Your Mother," Slate.com, March 23, 2010

About the word:

Boxes of candy covered with cupids and hearts might, for some people, have a saccharine quality – both in sentiment and taste.

For others, romantic and sugary excess is essential to Valentine's Day.

Either way, saccharine comes from saccharum, Latin for "sugar." The word dates back to the 1600s. The calorie-free sweetener saccharin (without an e) arrived a couple hundred years later.

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July 06, 2015
categorical Hear it
absolute or relating to a category
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