ear candy


: music that is pleasing to listen to but lacks depth

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 Need more ear candy? Kevin Cortez, Popular Mechanics, 24 Jan. 2023 Hardy’s talent for producing radio ear candy. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 21 Jan. 2023 There’s a lot of different ear candy going on. The New York Times, New York Times, 27 Oct. 2022 Envious of their ear candy? Talia Abbas, Glamour, 12 Nov. 2020 But the importance of ear candy is nothing new. Jill Newman, Town & Country, 10 Nov. 2020 His musical arrangements are ripe with ear candy. Hector Saldana, ExpressNews.com, 10 Sep. 2020 The track is a concentrated dose of ear candy, made of pastel synths that swirl with the richness and silkiness of milk chocolate, and bright background melodies that sparkle like sonic Pop Rocks. Katie Bain, Billboard, 28 Oct. 2022 Dua dedicated an entire slide to her ear candy, showing off EÉRA's Big Key, Tokyo, and Chiara white gold, pavé diamond earrings. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 28 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ear candy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ear candy was in 1977


Dictionary Entries Near ear candy

Cite this Entry

“Ear candy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ear%20candy. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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