car·​ra·​geen·​an | \ ˌker-ə-ˈgē-nən How to pronounce carrageenan (audio) , ˌka-rə- \
variants: or carrageenin

Definition of carrageenan

: a colloid extracted from various red algae (such as Irish moss) and used especially as a stabilizing or thickening agent

Examples of carrageenan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Now a global industry, carrageenan production in the United States had its unlikely beginnings over 150 years ago when an Irish immigrant spotted a familiar plant off the side of his sailboat. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Most Irish Town in America Was Built on Seaweed," 23 July 2019 Although most of today’s carrageenan-containing seaweeds come from China and Southeast Asia, this discovery leaves behind a legacy in what is claimed to be the most Irish town in America. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Most Irish Town in America Was Built on Seaweed," 23 July 2019 However, the price of the golden almond has led to the watering down of milks, with manufacturers relying instead on thickening agents like carrageenan and emulsifiers like lecithin. Grace Dickinson,, "The newest trend sweeping Philly coffee shops (and pushing almond milk aside)," 13 Feb. 2018 Snack options: Smoothie with carrageenan-free almond milk, 1/4 avocado and fresh or frozen berries. Molly Kimball,, "Whole30: Extreme healthy eating, with specific do's and don'ts," 15 Aug. 2017 Thankfully, the bomb is made with carrageenan seaweed and grapefruit oil, not the regurgitated stomach contents of an apparition. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Lush Is Releasing A Jelly Bath Bomb and It Looks Disgustingly Amazing," 23 Feb. 2017 The slimy white and violet orb has got some impressive ingredients, like hydrating carrageenan seaweed and grapefruit oil, which is a lymphatic stimulant. Lauren Valenti, Marie Claire, "Behold the Insanity That Is Lush's New "Ectoplasm" Bath Bomb," 28 Feb. 2017

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

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for carrageenan

carrageen + -an entry 3 or -in entry 1

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Time Traveler for carrageenan

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The first known use of carrageenan was circa 1889

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Cite this Entry

“Carrageenan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for carrageenan


variants: or carrageenin or carragheenin \ ˌkar-​ə-​ˈgē-​nən How to pronounce carragheenin (audio) \

Medical Definition of carrageenan

: a typically gel-forming polysaccharide extracted from various red algae (such as Irish moss) and used especially as a suspending agent (as in foods) and as a clarifying agent (as for beverages) and in controlling crystal growth in frozen confections

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