car·​a·​mel ˈkär-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio) ˈker-ə-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio)
: 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.
: 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 The caramel cake is the cake that started it all and features caramel icing sandwiched between layers of moist yellow cake. Melanie Fincher, Southern Living, 9 Sep. 2023 After all the caramel is dissolved, scrape the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon—everything should slide right off. Christianna Silva, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Sep. 2023 It's made with butterscotch caramel flavors, ice cream and blondie crumbles. David Wysong, The Enquirer, 7 Sep. 2023 This countdown to spooky season boasts 13 doors all filled with sweet surprises, including candy pumpkins, caramels, taffy, gummies, candy corn, and seasonal cookies. Brigitt Earley, Glamour, 31 Aug. 2023 Shop it in core colors black, ecru, cappuccino, dark olive, or caramel (pictured). $248 at Cuyana Best water-resistant bag Made of lightweight, water-resistant fabric, this sporty crossbody from Fjällräven is a smart choice for travelers no matter what's on the agenda. Kristi Kellogg, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Aug. 2023 Back in June, Lopez debuted fresh blunt bangs, mixing in thinner, caramel blonde highlights into her brunette layers and fringe. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 24 Aug. 2023 Others were eating caramel corn, tamales and tacos, sushi and kabab; handmade caramels, mini donuts and pastries. Eileen Ogintz, Chicago Tribune, 24 Aug. 2023 This version takes it up a notch with rich caramel, crunchy pretzel bits and flaky sea salt for those who are deeply into the sweet and salty combination. Emilia Benton, Country Living, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'caramel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1702, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of caramel was in 1702

Dictionary Entries Near caramel

Cite this Entry

“Caramel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


car·​a·​mel ˈkär-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio) ˈkar-ə-məl How to pronounce caramel (audio)
: burnt sugar used for coloring and flavoring
: a firm chewy candy

Medical Definition


: 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

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