cav·​i·​ar | \ ˈka-vē-ˌär also ˈkä- How to pronounce caviar (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

But the connections are faulty and the writing is weak; the Romanov/Romanoff conceit is like caviar on a ham sandwich. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘The Romanoffs’ Review: Far From Revolutionary," 11 Oct. 2018 Those familiar with the Oscar-winning Danish film from 1987 — which builds up to the banquet and essentially ushered in the era of the modern food flick — will be able to conjure up visions of blini with caviar and rum spongecake. Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times, "Review: ‘Babette’s Feast’ Is Served, This Time Onstage," 26 Mar. 2018 And while others lingered in the shop, Paltrow migrated to nearby boîte Sadelle’s for a late-night dinner party, replete with caviar, for a luxe punctuation to the evening. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Gwyneth Paltrow Celebrates Goop Lab’s New York Arrival," 15 Nov. 2018 Large and geometric, the sculpture is made of white steel covered in clusters of black magnetic beads, meant to mimic black caviar. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "La Prairie Proves That Skin Care Is A Work Of Art," 16 June 2017 State media in both countries featured the two leaders making blinis together, topping them with caviar and downing shots of vodka last year. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "The New Beijing-Moscow Axis," 1 Feb. 2019 President Vladimir Putin treated Xi to pancakes with caviar and shots of vodka in a show of their warm personal ties. Sergei Grits, The Seattle Times, "Russia launches biggest war games in decades involving China," 11 Sep. 2018 The second course options are prime beef short ribs with eggplant caviar and ratatouille, the fish of the day with cauliflower hummus or a vegetable medley with cauliflower hummus. Audrey Gorden, RedEye Chicago, "Ring in the Jewish New Year with these Rosh Hashana specials," 18 Sep. 2017 Expect fancy versions of summer classics—like a lobster roll with grinnell caviar and a Rhode Island wiener dog dressed up with meat sauce—alongside champagne cocktails. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "The Ocean House Is Opening a Secret Champagne Garden This Summer," 15 May 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about caviar

Dictionary Entries near caviar








Statistics for caviar

Last Updated

1 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caviar

The first known use of caviar was circa 1560

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for caviar



English Language Learners Definition of caviar

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on caviar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with caviar

Spanish Central: Translation of caviar

Nglish: Translation of caviar for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about caviar

Comments on caviar

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


an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

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!