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 Sweet-tart apples are diced fine and coated in cinnamon before being mixed into a simple cake batter. Los Angeles Times, "Apple pie works better for the holidays when it’s a cake," 12 Nov. 2020 Don's Bakery was known for its round cinnamon bread and for the ladyfingers, a sweet dough creation filled with powdered sugar, shortening, whipped cream and vanilla. Matt Mckinney, Star Tribune, "Those we've lost: Donovan John Fisher, owner of Don's Bakery in Elk River," 12 Nov. 2020 Scores of Greater Cleveland breweries are making ales using every ounce of what is in their spice cabinets, with everything from cinnamon to cardmom to cloves and more. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Christmas Ale guide, new brewery in Mentor, Royal Docks expansion: WTAM 5-minute food-drinks chat," 11 Nov. 2020 Just toss eight peeled, cored, and chopped apples into the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water, juice from ½ a lemon, and cinnamon to taste. Lauren Manaker,, "5 Hanukkah food hacks to make your holiday dinner easy and delicious," 11 Nov. 2020 Serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal that includes a whole fresh turkey, cornbread dressing with sausage, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy and fresh cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "15+ places to dine out, order food to-go for Thanksgiving in Louisville," 10 Nov. 2020 The flavors include black lava sea salt, anisette and cinnamon clove. Christina Vercelletto, CNN Underscored, "30 amazing Advent calendars that make December so much merrier," 10 Nov. 2020 Cayenne and cinnamon can replace the sumac, for example. Washington Post, "Harissa-glazed turkey legs with sweet potatoes deliver big flavor on a budget," 10 Nov. 2020 Pop the apples, lemon slices, and the cinnamon shards (if using) into the bowl for decoration. The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook, Town & Country, "How to Make a Downton Abbey-Inspired Christmas Wassail," 4 Nov. 2020

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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cinnamon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cinnamon

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

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