car·a·mel·ize | \-mə-ˌlīz \
caramelized; caramelizing

Definition of caramelize 

transitive verb

: to change into caramel caramelize sugar

intransitive verb

: to change to caramel causing sugar to caramelize

Examples of caramelize in a Sentence

The onions will take five minutes to caramelize. Caramelize two cups of sugar. Continue stirring until the sugar caramelizes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While pasta cooks, sauté bell peppers and onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until slightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Table for 1: For solo diners, cooking at home offers many perks," 12 July 2018 Roast until caramelized at 400 degrees for eight to 10 minutes. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "He never gets tired of the Hot Brown, but chef at The Brown Hotel is always looking ahead," 20 Mar. 2018 If, however, your fruit is not ripe, try grilling it, which will caramelize it and help bring out the natural sweetness. Becky Krystal, charlotteobserver, "Here’s how to skip the jar and make a fresh salsa that’s right for you," 1 May 2018 Another deep Southern favorite is the pecan pie (go ahead, say PEE-can), done in a traditional style with crunchy, caramelized nuts covering a rich, buttery filling that’s held in place by a firm yet flaky crust. James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "Boise Pie Co. shows its Southern roots, bakes up delicious desserts," 12 July 2018 After 25 minutes, the peaches are tanned, caramelized and the skin can be peeled off with a slight tug of the thumb. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "The 4 fruits to put in the smoker, and 5 to avoid," 9 July 2018 Rosenthal’s order: pani puri, butter chicken, Afghani seekh kabob, Frankie Indian street wrap, Malai chicken tikka Frankie Indian street wrap, papadum and chutneys, heirloom tomato and caramelized pineapple salad and Goan prawn masala. Jenn Harris,, "Phil Rosenthal's L.A. food crawl: Six spots to try," 29 June 2018 The smell of warming corn tortillas and caramelizing meat casts a spell that's palpable for blocks. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Chicago's taco game is strong: these 3 spots prove the taqueria, if nothing else, abides," 27 June 2018 The fish will get more caramelized, but that’s also nice. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "This Summery Coconut-Spice Halibut Is Great Steamed or Grilled," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caramelize.' 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 caramelize

1842, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for caramelize

The first known use of caramelize was in 1842

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More Definitions for caramelize



English Language Learners Definition of caramelize

: to cook (something, such as a fruit or vegetable) slowly until it becomes brown and sweet

: to change (sugar) into caramel by cooking it

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