cav·​i·​ar | \ ˈka-vē-ˌär How to pronounce caviar (audio) 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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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 Governors, mayors and city leaders across the country have sought similar boycotts against Russia over the weekend, calling on residents to avoid Russian caviar, spirits and other goods. Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2022 Complimentary caviar and champagne will be available daily along with a Petrossian x Taittinger Bar for guests to indulge in. Amber Love Bond, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Who ordered the $100 martini with caviar and oysters? Zach Everson, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Small plates, $8 to $90 (for caviar and potato chips). Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 Most of the caviar and meat was sold to buyers in New York City, prosecutors said. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 22 Apr. 2022 The glamorous event, which raised over $1.5 million, kicked off with a cocktail ceremony where guests were served caviar and crème fraiche tarts along with Champagne. Vogue, 14 Apr. 2022 Natalie Cole performed, and servers passed beluga caviar and champagne. E.b. Solomont, WSJ, 4 Mar. 2022 The new restaurant — with chef Jesus Mendez, formerly of Cole’s Chop House, at the helm — has a raw bar serving oysters, lobster and a caviar and salmon parfait. Jess Lander, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for caviar

Time Traveler

The first known use of caviar was circa 1560

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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Caviar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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