Cin·​sault ˈsan-ˌsō How to pronounce Cinsault (audio)
variants or cinsault
: a red grape widely grown in southern France and often used in blends and for making dry rosés

Word History


borrowed from French, earlier Cinsaut, Cinq-Saou, borrowed from Occitan of Languedoc (Hérault, Gard) cinsau, sinsau, of obscure origin

Note: It is uncertain if the French/Occitan word is attested before the 19th century. The grape was already being cultivated in an Algiers plant nursery in 1850 (see Catalogue des végétaux cultivés à la pépinière centrale du gouvernement à Alger, attributed to Auguste Hardy, Algiers, 1850, p. 78). Sinsau occurs in a list of grape varieties, along with aramoun, terret, and alicanta in an Occitan poem, La Manideta, by the Felibre Antoine Roux (1842-1915), published in Revue des langues romanes, tome 32 (1888), p. 87. Cf. Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Band 22, Lieferung 138, p. 67.

First Known Use

1945, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Cinsault was in 1945

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Cite this Entry

“Cinsault.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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