car·​a·​mel·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌkär-mə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce caramelization (audio) ; ˌker-ə-mə-, ˌka-rə-mə-\

Definition of caramelization

: the process of heating sugar (such as granulated white sugar or the sugar contained in a food) at high temperature so that water is removed and the sugar is broken down (as into glucose and fructose) and then reformed into complex polymers producing a sweet, nutty, or buttery flavor and golden-brown to dark brown color : the nonenzymatic process of changing sugar or the sugar content of a food into caramel (see caramel sense 1) An intense caramelization of the carrots concentrates their flavor and brings up their sweetness until they're almost like candy-but the roasted garlic and thyme keep the dish on the savory side.— April Bloomfield

First Known Use of caramelization

1845, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about caramelization

Share caramelization

Statistics for caramelization

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caramelization

The first known use of caramelization was in 1845

See more words from the same year

Comments on caramelization

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


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!