cav·i·ar | \ ˈka-vē-ˌär also ˈkä- \
variants: or less commonly caviare

Definition of caviar 

1 : processed salted roe of large fish (such as sturgeon)

2 : something considered too delicate or lofty for mass appreciation usually used in the phrase caviar to the general

3 : something considered the best of its kind

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Did You Know?

The eggs, or roe, of sturgeon are called caviar. Preserved with salt, caviar is usually eaten as an appetizer. Most true caviar is produced in Russia and Iran, from fish taken from the Caspian and Black seas. The best grade, beluga, is prepared from large black or gray eggs; fresh beluga caviar is relatively scarce and thus expensive. Lesser grades are from smaller, denser eggs. In the U.S., the roe of salmon, whitefish, lumpfish, and paddlefish is sometimes sold under the name caviar.

Examples of caviar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Somehow, only one of those five stands among the final eight, with that one (Brazil) on the caviar side of the bracket alongside Belgium's golden generation, France's soaring talent and Uruguay's all-pitch competence. Chuck Culpepper,, "World Cup final will include one of these teams: England, Croatia, Sweden, Russia. Really.," 4 July 2018 Taste Catering President Margaret Teskey carefully assembled her caviar plate for high-rolling Constellation patrons. Catherine Bigelow, San Francisco Chronicle, "Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project gets a boost from luncheon feast," 4 June 2018 For instance, the inspection found duck from as far back as June of that year, fish stock from October and caviar from September, the inspection report shows. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Trump vs. Red Hen restaurant: Eateries in Trump properties also dinged for violations," 5 July 2018 The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Thursday approved a plan that would allow the import and farming of sterlet sturgeon, a Russian fish that produces eggs valued in caviar. Tristan Baurick,, "Controversial plan to farm Russian sturgeon in Louisiana moves ahead," 7 Apr. 2018 Smoked Salmon Sandwiches With Finger Lime Aioli Serves 2 to 4 The addition of the caviar-like finger lime pearls to these open-faced smoked salmon sandwiches adds a burst of citrus flavor with each bite. Sarah Fritsche, San Francisco Chronicle, "Recipe: Smoked Salmon Sandwiches With Finger Lime Aioli," 26 Apr. 2018 Above deck are wealthy vacationers dining on caviar and Lobster Thermidor. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Young and Privileged and Perpetually at Sea," 5 July 2018 Reports from this period converge on two details: The television was always on, and the fridge was always filled with gourmet sundries—chocolates, pastries, Russian caviar—slowly going bad. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 And last year, Saison, a Michelin three-star restaurant in San Francisco, started serving caviar with cricket broth alongside sea urchins and whole crickets. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, "A New Animal Farm," 12 June 2018

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

circa 1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for caviar

earlier cavery, caviarie, from obsolete Italian caviari, plural of caviaro, from Turkish havyar

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Statistics for caviar

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for caviar

The first known use of caviar was circa 1560

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English Language Learners Definition of caviar

: the eggs of a large fish (such as the sturgeon) that are salted and eaten as food

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