com·​fit | \ ˈkəm(p)-fət How to pronounce comfit (audio) , ˈkäm(p)- How to pronounce comfit (audio) \

Definition of comfit

: a candy consisting of a piece of fruit, a root (such as licorice), a nut, or a seed coated and preserved with sugar

First Known Use of comfit

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for comfit

Middle English confyt, counfyt, comfyte "food item preserved in sugar or syrup, the syrup itself," borrowed from Anglo-French confit (in the phrase en confit "preserved [of fruit]"), noun derivative from past participle of confire "to create, make, prepare, preserve" (continental Old French, "to prepare [a drink], preserve [fruit] in a liquid or sugar"), going back to Latin conficere "to carry out, perform, make, bring about, collect, bring to completion" — more at confect

Note: Gallo-Romance has largely restricted the semantic range of Latin conficere to "prepare, preserve," presumably a narrowing of the classical sense "bring to completion." The vowel i proper to the past participle (< Latin confectus) has been extended through the entire paradigm. Compare confit.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Comfit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on comfit

Britannica English: Translation of comfit for Arabic Speakers


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