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

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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

Normal, everyday deviled eggs with seasoned salt, until caviar showed up as an indulgent $30 add-on. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Fontaine’s Southern Diner & Bar finds 2-star comfort zone near the Pearl," 29 Aug. 2019 Among the top-selling shareables on the inaugural menu are the Poke Nachos ($16) made with Hawaiian big-eye tuna and Maui onions and the Crispy Calamari ($15) served with spicy aioli and black caviar. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "First Look: Fairchilds, a new restaurant with an iconic Silicon Valley name," 26 Aug. 2019 The world’s most expensive food, caviar retails for as much as $3,000 per pound. Denise Hruby, Los Angeles Times, "Craving for caviar is driving the Danube River’s sturgeon to extinction," 22 Aug. 2019 HINATA’s may be savory with avocado and caviar between crisp mochi shells. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "This Japanese restaurant coming to downtown Indy will take you far beyond sushi," 24 Apr. 2019 In the evening, a tower of warm zeppole with prosciutto and caviar arrives for a group date at Michael Mina’s Cal Mare restaurant. Andrea Bennett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Will New Casinos Bring a "MassVegas" to New England?," 17 Dec. 2018 Seaside’s curvey bar offers wide views to the sea, fresh oysters ($29 per dozen) and caviar with the usual trimmings ($42 for 1 ounce). Jane Wooldridge, miamiherald, "Yes, it looks like a condo. But it’s really a cruise ship — with killer views. | Miami Herald," 13 Mar. 2018 The menu includes 10 hand rolls, with ingredients such as spicy lobster, blue crab and seared scallops, along with Miyazaki A5 Wagyu nigiri, octopus sashimi and salmon nigiri topped with black caviar. Hadley Tomicki, Los Angeles Times, "A former Mozza chef is making tacos at Bee Taqueria in West Adams," 6 Aug. 2019 Then Lenin’s 1917 guillotine dropped on the aristocracy like a cleaver on a sturgeon full of caviar. Jim Kempton, Orange County Register, "Follow the French: A look at the French influence on cuisine around the world," 2 Aug. 2019

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

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for caviar

The first known use of caviar was circa 1560

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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

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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

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