noun, often attributive
cin·na·mon | \ˈsi-nə-mən \

Definition of cinnamon 

1a : the aromatic, dried bark of any of several tropical trees (genus Cinnamomum) yielding a culinary spice, oil, and flavoring especially : a small roll or quill of cinnamon bark

b : the tan to dark brown spice that is prepared from cinnamon bark by powdering and has a somewhat sweet and spicy taste

Note: Ceylon cinnamon comes from a tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) of Sri Lanka and southern India and is usually considered to be true cinnamon. Chinese cinnamon, Indonesian cinnamon, and Saigon cinnamon come from several related trees and typically comprise most of the less expensive cinnamon spice sold in stores. This spice, also known as cassia, tends to have a stronger, spicier character than true cinnamon.

c : a tree that yields cinnamon

2 : a light yellowish brown

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Other Words from cinnamon

cinnamony \-mə-nē \ adjective

Did You Know?

Cinnamon is a spice produced from a bushy evergreen tree of the laurel family. The tree is native to Sri Lanka, India, and Burma and cultivated in South America and the West Indies for the spice, which is prepared from its dried inner bark. The light-brown spice has a delicately fragrant aroma and warm, sweet flavor. It was once more valuable than gold. The oil is distilled from bark fragments for use in food, liqueur, drugs, and perfume.

Examples of cinnamon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Try Costanera’s classic Pisco Sour ($12), gently frothed and sprinkled with cinnamon, or the chicha version ($13), colored by sweet purple corn juice. Jeanne Cooper,, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018 On a recent Friday, the mood was tremulous, the air scented with cinnamon and enigma. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Sleights of Hand With Cards, Coins and a Colander," 26 June 2018 The concoction was heavy with cinnamon, crossed with the cheap sugary character of Lucky Charms. Josh Noel,, "You can make your own pastry stout at Beer Temple. But should you? We test it out," 11 May 2018 Place the biscuits on a sheet of wax paper and sprinkle both sides with the cinnamon. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Maple, Bacon, and Pecan Sticky Buns," 5 Mar. 2018 In a small bowl, stir them together with the cinnamon. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis couple releases a new vegetarian cookbook," 13 Feb. 2018 Cinnamon Start your morning off right with some cinnamon in your breakfast. Good Housekeeping, "5 Simple Ways to Spice Up Your Diabetic Diet," 3 Jan. 2018 Seven spice can be purchased at Middle Eastern markets, or make your own blend by creating a mixture of paprika, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg or allspice based on personal preferences. Claire Perez,, "What is baharat Arabic spice blend?," 29 June 2018 The selection available in this plant are fun: lemon, rose, peppermint, pine, cinnamon, clove, chocolate mint, strawberry and more. Tim Johnson,, "Stop and smell the roses — or chocolate cosmos. These plants make your garden smell as good as it looks.," 11 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cinnamon

Middle English cynamone, from Anglo-French, from Latin cinnamomum, cinnamon, from Greek kinnamōmon, kinnamon, of non-Indo-European origin; akin to Hebrew qinnāmōn cinnamon

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Statistics for cinnamon

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for cinnamon

The first known use of cinnamon was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for cinnamon



English Language Learners Definition of cinnamon

: a sweet spice made from the bark of an Asian tree and used in cooking and baking


cin·na·mon | \ˈsi-nə-mən \

Kids Definition of cinnamon

: a spice that is made from the fragrant bark of a tropical Asian tree and is used especially in cooking and baking


noun, often attributive
cin·na·mon | \ˈsin-ə-mən \

Medical Definition of cinnamon 

1 : any of several Asian trees of the genus Cinnamomum

2a : the highly aromatic, dried bark of a cinnamon tree that yields a culinary spice, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamon oil

b : an aromatic spice prepared from the dried inner bark of a cinnamon

Note: A typically mild and somewhat sweet, tan to light brown cinnamon comes from a tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) of Sri Lanka and southern India, and is usually considered to be true cinnamon. Cinnamon that comes from several related trees (such as the Chinese cinnamon) typically accounts for most of the less expensive cinnamon spice sold in stores. This spice, also known as cassia, tends to have a stronger, spicier character than true cinnamon

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More from Merriam-Webster on cinnamon

Spanish Central: Translation of cinnamon

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

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