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 Hillary Clinton loved the Honeybee latte (swirled with cinnamon and honey) in 2016. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Iowa Countdown: 48 Hours in the Brigadoon of the Political World," 3 Feb. 2020 Making monkey bread typically involves tossing canned biscuit dough pieces with cinnamon, sugar and lots of butter. Janelle Bitker,, "Recipe: Corridor’s Savory Cheddar Cheese Monkey Bread," 29 Jan. 2020 Season with cinnamon, nutmeg (freshly grated if possible), salt, and pepper. Eric Velasco, al, "Go meatless with these easy weeknight recipes," 24 Jan. 2020 Nothing short of inspired, however, is a plate of stellar beignets, craggy and piping hot, dusted with cinnamon and clove and served with a luscious and complex ube anglaise. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "What to know before you go to Josephine, Tuck Shop owner's new Roosevelt Row restaurant," 17 Jan. 2020 This round cake is filled with cinnamon, topped with white glaze, and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold sugar. Carmen Collins, Country Living, "What Is Three Kings Day and When Do You Celebrate It?," 10 Dec. 2019 In a bowl, mash one banana with ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "Type 2 diabetes diet plan: Sensible, carb-conscious meal ideas," 14 Nov. 2019 Cardamom Cinnamon Tea is a blend of fine Indian and Ceylon leaves mixed with cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "Republic of Tea Now Has Two Teas Inspired by Hallmark’s "Countdown to Christmas"," 10 Nov. 2019 Oats and almonds, spiced with cinnamon and cloves, make the ultimate crust for any Thanksgiving pie. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Pear and Berry Crumb Pie," 28 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for cinnamon

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cinnamon

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cinnamon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cinnamon


How to pronounce cinnamon (audio)

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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