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

On the sweet side, don’t pass up the walnut coffee cake, which is served warm, the better to soak up the bourbon-caramel glaze. Michael Russell | The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Portland's 10 best new brunches for Mother's Day 2018," 8 May 2018 Love Handle Who wants beef tongue egg toast or a fried chicken thigh cutlet on a waffle with miso-caramel butter? Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "The best brunch spots in Indianapolis right now," 26 Mar. 2018 The rest of the year Schmidt's sells bread, cookies, doughnuts, and specialties such as pecan-caramel rolls called whoppers, sugar cookies and salt-rising bread. Polly Campbell,, "Thing-a-lings: The whole story of the cherry fritters, the Washington's birthday tradition," 15 Feb. 2018 The retro truck carries vanilla, chocolate, and Scooptopia — vanilla ice cream with peanut butter, caramel and fudge. Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Retro UW-Madison delivery van hits road with myth-busting facts, Babcock ice cream," 13 July 2018 The Bombolato special includes a bomboloni ice cream sandwich stuffed with vanilla gelato, dipped in smoked caramel and topped with Fruity Pebbles. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "10 cereal dishes that take childhood favorites out of the breakfast bowl," 6 July 2018 Dip them in caramel and chocolate for something like a Twix bar. 14. Alyse Whitney, Bon Appetit, "17 Ways to Use Nilla Wafers in Almost Every Summer Dessert," 18 June 2018 The creations are Instagram-ready, with scoops cradled in bubble-textured waffle cones, bedazzled with sprinkles and colorful bits of cereal and drizzled with caramel and Nutella. Leeanne Griffin,, "25-Plus Popular Ice Cream Spots In Connecticut," 21 May 2018 And the deliciously festive bacon Bourbon caramel popcorn also appears on the race day menu. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "How to Throw the Most Festive Kentucky Derby Party of All Time," 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.

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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

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Statistics for caramel

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for caramel

The first known use of caramel was in 1653

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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 , 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

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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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