car·​a·​mel | \ˈkär-məl; ˈker-ə-məl, ˈka-rə-, -ˌmel \

Definition of caramel 

1 : an amorphous, brittle, brown, and somewhat bitter substance that is obtained by heating sugar and used as a coloring and flavoring agent Caramel is an ingredient in many carbonated beverages.

2 : a firm chewy usually caramel-flavored candy a bag of caramels

Examples of caramel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Four years on, the hype remains, and new flavors like gingerbread spice, and caramel and butterscotch are just as coveted as the original. Amy Louise Bailey, Vogue, "The 7 Dishes You Have to Eat in New Zealand," 25 July 2018 Its popular Sunday brunch included waffles with apple compote, maple salted caramel and cinnamon cream. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "West Bottoms restaurant in converted gas station closes after more than seven years," 2 July 2018 In addition, there’s a bakery counter stocked with fudge ($3.95), cauldron cakes ($3.95), caramel apples ($5.95-$8.95). Lauren Delgado,, "Where to grab magical food, drink at Celebration of Harry Potter," 24 Jan. 2018 Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook, without stirring but constantly watching, for a few minutes until the sugar turns into a deep-amber caramel. 2. Bonnie S. Benwick, The Seattle Times, "For a different Thanksgiving dessert, swap pie for parfaits," 13 Nov. 2018 Simmer for a minute, stirring, to dissolve the caramel. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Main dishes? Fruit is not forbidden," 26 June 2018 The weekend brunch menu includes a crustless quiche or strawberry Belgian waffles with guava caramel. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "19 new restaurants opened in Phoenix in May for donuts, salads, tacos, pizza," 1 June 2018 Offerings include: a Caribbean avocado salad, the camarones con tomate, made with shrimp, garlic, tomato sauce, white wine, oregano and parsley and Abuela’s flan, a traditional Cuban custard topped with caramel. Carolina Gusman,, "117 ways to celebrate mom: Your San Diego guide to Mother's Day brunches, lunches and dinners," 7 May 2018 The same sense of enterprise came through in desserts that ranged from sophisticated cheesecake with raspberry and sage to playful profiteroles with roasted banana caramel. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Maverick Texas Brasserie a new star for Southtown," 19 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of caramel

1653, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about caramel

Statistics for caramel

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caramel

The first known use of caramel was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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, 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, -ˌmel; ˈkär-məl \

Medical Definition of caramel 

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on caramel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with caramel

Spanish Central: Translation of caramel

Nglish: Translation of caramel for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on caramel

What made you want to look up caramel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!