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

The packaging is in the same pastel color scheme as the palettes, and inside are tomato red, caramel, and brick red shades. Devon Abelman, Allure, "The Kylie Cosmetics Kourt Collection Is Officially Happening," 13 Apr. 2018 Let cool 15 minutes or until caramel hardens completely. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Choco-Caramel Matzo Brittle," 30 Mar. 2016 Alissa Ashley herself uses shade 15.9 Warm Honey, a medium tan with caramel undertones. Marci Robin, Allure, "Exclusive: Nyx Is Launching a New Full-Coverage Foundation in 45 Shades," 11 July 2018 The Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake is made with layers of Cinnabon cinnamon cheesecake and vanilla crunch cake topped with cream cheese frosting and caramel. Caroline Judelson, Fox News, "Celebrate National Cheesecake Day with The Cheesecake Factory's decadent new flavors," 28 June 2018 Bareilles set the tone for an elegant evening in a multi-tired caramel-color gown. Carolina Gonzales, Houston Chronicle, "Tiffany Haddish, Tina Fey turn up at the Tony Awards: Best and worst dressed celebrities," 10 June 2018 On the sweet side of the menu, diners also can try a flight of French toast — caramel-crunch, cinnamon-sugar cream-filled, and berry-stuffed. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brunch restaurant Zisters in Elm Grove sets its opening for June 7," 29 May 2018 At Hilo Shark’s Coffee, tourists browsed the Hawaii Tribune Herald while waiting for salted caramel ice cream, and Pahoa’s Island Naturals grocery store bustled with Sunday evening shoppers. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "An island of angst: 'A lot of people are scared' as unpredictable Hawaii volcano roars and boils," 14 May 2018 Spoon a bunch of sweet and tart apple pie filling on top, drizzled it with caramel sauce and go generous with the cinnamon sugar topping. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Insane new Indiana State Fair foods that will complete your summer," 9 July 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

4 Nov 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

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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!