car·​a·​mel | \ ˈkär-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio) ; ˈker-ə-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio) , ˈka-rə-, -ˌmel \

Definition of caramel

1 : a usually firm to brittle, golden-brown to dark brown substance that has a sweet, nutty, buttery, or bitter flavor, is obtained by heating sugar at high temperature, and used especially as a coloring and flavoring agent Caramel is an ingredient in many candies.
2 : a firm, chewy, usually caramel-flavored candy made with sugar, cream, corn syrup, and butter a bag of caramels

Examples of caramel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Croissant bread pudding with caramel and whiskey-lime sauces is dessert. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, "Here are 10 restaurants for takeout brunch and dinner on Mother's Day in metro Phoenix," 4 May 2021 There are additional notes of vanilla, a little caramel and some black pepper. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, "Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With The Top Cristalino Tequilas," 4 May 2021 With the release of two American single-malt whiskeys, J. Carver is highlighting the distinctive flavors — some citrus, some caramel — of malted barley. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "3 local whiskeys that show off the creativity of Twin Cities microdistilleries," 23 Mar. 2021 Around the same time, Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi combined herbs, natural caramel, aromatic botanicals, and herbaceous plants to create their first vermouth, Martini & Rossi Rosso. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "The History of the Aperitivo — and How to Enjoy It Like an Italian," 26 Feb. 2021 Roasted pecan caramel kissed with orange blossom water sneaks up with gentle crunch. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, "How L.A. cake virtuosos learned to thrive on Instagram," 17 Apr. 2021 Although the bakery is best known for its Southern-style caramel cake, one of the other famous confections is the Obama cake. Louisa Chu,, "After Kamala Harris’ visit sparks ‘bakery vs. border’ debate, Brown Sugar Bakery gets caught in the crossfire," 9 Apr. 2021 Apple-cinnamon French toast, with a side of cajeta, or goat’s-milk caramel, is made from thick slices of apple challah. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "Fany Gerson’s Craveable Doughnuts and Mexican Brunch," 5 Mar. 2021 All available in a variety of nuanced shades, from a cool fog grey to a rich caramel to a distressed camo print, the collection offers swag and subtlety alike. Kareem Rashed, Robb Report, "Canada Goose and Rhude Team Up to Outfit This Year’s NBA All-Star Team," 4 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caramel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caramel

1702, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for caramel

French, from Spanish caramelo, from Portuguese, icicle, caramel, from Late Latin calamellus small reed — more at shawm

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Time Traveler for caramel

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The first known use of caramel was in 1702

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Statistics for caramel

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caramel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for caramel



English Language Learners Definition of caramel

: a light brown candy made from butter, sugar, and milk or cream
: sugar that is cooked until it is burnt and that is used to give color and flavor to food
: a light brown color


car·​a·​mel | \ ˈkär-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio) , ˈker-ə-məl \

Kids Definition of caramel

1 : a firm chewy candy
2 : burnt sugar used for coloring and flavoring


car·​a·​mel | \ ˈkar-ə-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio) , -ˌmel; ˈkär-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio) \

Medical Definition of caramel

: an amorphous brittle brown and somewhat bitter substance obtained by heating sugar and used as a coloring and flavoring agent

More from Merriam-Webster on caramel

Nglish: Translation of caramel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of caramel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about caramel

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