ear candy


Definition of ear candy

: music that is pleasing to listen to but lacks depth

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Did You Know?

Ear candy made its debut (in print, at least) as the title of a 1977 album by pop singer Helen Reddy. The album has long since faded from the charts, but the term endures and it is now used widely enough to have gained entry into abridged dictionaries. Although "ear candy" is sometimes used critically to describe tunes that are considered "gooey," "sweet," or "saccharine," the people who make the music and their fans find it tasty. As one 90s band member sagely put it, does it really matter if ear candy "isn't about the secret of life"?

Examples of ear candy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The season’s It piece is meant to hang prettily off of one’s lobes, but Scott’s creations are far more than mere ear candy. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How These Shapely Statement Earrings Celebrate Coast Salish Culture," 13 Mar. 2019 Earrings Meghan and Kate both kept their jewelry simple, but the Cartier ear candy was a little different for the two brides. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "VOTE: Which Royal Wedding Did You Prefer, Kate Middleton's or Meghan Markle's?," 19 May 2018 An amalgam of textures, tones and tempos, the 13-track opus delivers plenty of ear candy for guitar nerds to salivate over, but real heart — often a broken one — lies underneath its mazes of synth, stately piano and spaceship blips and beeps. Janine Schaults, chicagotribune.com, "Been-everywhere producer Jonathan Wilson on his 'do-or-die' new recording," 26 Feb. 2018 Then again, creating ear candy is Coldplay’s specialty. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Love 'em or hate 'em, Coldplay's coming to San Diego," 4 Oct. 2017 Then again, creating ear candy is Coldplay’s specialty. George Varga, Pacific San Diego Magazine, "Love ’em or hate ’em, Coldplay’s coming to San Diego," 4 Oct. 2017

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

1977, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near ear candy



ear canal

ear candy

ear canker

ear clip


Statistics for ear candy

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Time Traveler for ear candy

The first known use of ear candy was in 1977

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More Definitions for ear candy

ear candy


English Language Learners Definition of ear candy

US, informal : music that is pleasing to listen to but is not serious or interesting

More from Merriam-Webster on ear candy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ear candy

Comments on ear candy

What made you want to look up ear candy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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