noun, often attributive
cin·​na·​mon | \ ˈsi-nə-mən How to pronounce cinnamon (audio) \

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 \ ˈsi-​nə-​mə-​nē How to pronounce cinnamony (audio) \ 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

The cinnamon rolls are free of dairy, lactose, eggs or cholesterol. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "Cinnaholic cinnamon rolls coming to Concord," 5 June 2019 Guests create their own sweets by choosing from such flavors as birthday cake, espresso, mint and cinnamon toast crunch. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "31 new restaurants opened in Phoenix in April, chains and independents," 1 May 2018 For more casual fare, The Blonde Beans across from the train station serves up warm cinnamon rolls and the best coffee in town. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "This Austrian Spa and Ski Town Is Straight Out of a Wes Anderson Film," 11 Jan. 2019 Inside the bakery last month, the aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon wafted from an area labeled Cake Room. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Who Serves the Best Holiday Carrot Cake? Hint: It Has a Captive Audience," 25 Dec. 2018 In another bowl, stir together the salt, chile powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Sheryl Julian,, "Recipe: Get a skillet blazing hot and you can make Middle Eastern lamb shawarma at home," 28 May 2018 In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, walnuts, and raisins, dates, or chocolate chips. Carly Graf, Outside Online, "The Best Homemade Snacks According to the Pros," 11 May 2018 Set aside Step 3: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Kroger, The Courier-Journal, "Rise & shine with this recipe," 26 Feb. 2018 Add evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt; beat to combine. Joseph Hernandez,, "Celebrating black heritage cuisine that helps honor the past," 12 Feb. 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

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce cinnamon (audio) \

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 How to pronounce cinnamon (audio) \

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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