enam·el | \i-ˈna-məl \
enameled or enamelled; enameling or enamelling\i-ˈnam-liŋ, -ˈna-mə- \

Definition of enamel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover, inlay, or decorate with enamel

2 : to beautify with a colorful surface

3 : to form a glossy surface on (a material, such as paper, leather, or cloth)



Definition of enamel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a usually opaque vitreous composition applied by fusion to the surface of metal, glass, or pottery

2 : a surface or outer covering that resembles enamel

3a : something that is enameled

b : enamelware

4 : a cosmetic intended to give a smooth or glossy appearance

5 : a hard calcareous substance that forms a thin layer capping the teeth — see tooth illustration

6 : a paint that flows out to a smooth coat when applied and that dries with a glossy appearance

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Other Words from enamel


enameler noun
enamelist \i-ˈna-mə-list \ noun

Examples of enamel in a Sentence


The tea set is decorated with enamel. an artist who works with enamels The museum has a fine collection of enamels.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The freestanding bathtub is made by Agape, based in Mantua, Italy, and is available in two sizes—standard and small—and two finishes: all white or with a white interior and enameled dark exterior. Karen Bruno, WSJ, "Homeowners Discover (Again) the Luxury of Soaking Tubs," 14 June 2018 The first, second and third bases shall be canvas bags painted white and filled with sand or sawdust, the home base and pitchers point to be each marked by a flat circular iron plate painted or enamelled white. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "The long-lost ‘Laws of Base Ball,’ and one fan’s outsize bid to get them," 18 May 2018 For picnics and road trips, these stackable enameled stainless steel bowls are portability at its chicest. Zoë Sessums, Bon Appetit, "The Best Kitchen Products to Buy at Anthropologie’s Spring Sale," 6 Apr. 2018 Le Creuset’s classic enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are great for braises, baking bread, and even weeknight pasta. Melissa Minton, Bon Appetit, "Le Creuset to Release New 7-Piece Stainless Steel Collection," 15 Mar. 2018 Photo: Brett Beyer Photography for Bis Bis (2) CRACKLED Lisa Nemrow, a principal of Un-Gyve Group, Boston, uses enameled lava for its durability and stain resistance. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "The Versatile Volcanic Rock That’s Showing Up in Home Décor," 8 Mar. 2018 The new Clover Cocotte is made with Le Creuset's signature enameled cast iron, which is great for retaining and dispersing heat throughout the whole pot while cooking. Madison Alcedo, Country Living, "Le Creuset Just Released a Clover-Shaped Dutch Oven for St. Patrick's Day," 6 Feb. 2018 Prices: Custom enameled basins, $5,000 to $15,000; tiles, $50 to 100 per square foot; countertops, $200 to $400 per square foot, all from Bis Bis, a division of the Un-Gyve Group. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "The Versatile Volcanic Rock That’s Showing Up in Home Décor," 8 Mar. 2018 Terry leans his long frame over the white enameled counter and shares his dreams and delights with the customers. Debbi Snook, cleveland.com, "Ora Bell's: Southern food stand joins Cleveland's West Side Market (photos, video)," 1 Nov. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In one study, researchers looked at dentine—the tissue that forms beneath enamel—in modern Greek people, compared to prehistoric Middle Eastern communities. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How Ancient Teeth Reveal The Roots of Humankind," 2 July 2018 There are also Fog Linen's functional objects and textiles, made in Japan, and Sibilia's brass and enamel pieces from Buenos Aires, among others. Isa Giallorenzo, Chicago Reader, "Style Ravenswood's Sailor features jewelry, textiles, fine teas, handmade shoes, and more," 25 June 2018 Straw marquetry covered the walls, wood fretwork was painted to look like white enamel, and the air was filled with the aroma of sandalwood incense. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "‘Diving for Starfish’ Review: The Affair L’Étoile de Mer," 22 Mar. 2018 Frequently rubbing the jaw Headaches Earaches Facial pain Pain when chewing Chipped, broken or cracked teeth Worn down tooth enamelDisrupted sleep Can teeth grinding be treated? Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Is your child's teeth grinding normal?," 30 June 2018 Using a large sauté pan or an enamel pot over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Claire Perez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Moroccan chicken tagine a flavorful and aromatic stew," 29 June 2018 Johnson extends the theme into assertive wall reliefs composed from materials favored in his earlier work — ceramic tile, tar-black spray enamel, shea butter, black soap, broken glass, etc. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Rashid Johnson at David Kordansky Gallery: Power, protection, plus 'Ugly Pots'," 5 May 2018 As people age, their enamel can become thinner, a result of decades of wear and tear. Jill U. Adams, chicagotribune.com, "The pros and cons of whitening your teeth," 1 May 2018 Everyone is unique in their enamel or tooth makeup. Lena Dunham, Vogue, "Lena Dunham Got the Message: The Internet Does Not Like Her Teeth," 16 Apr. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for enamel


Middle English, from Anglo-French enameller, from en- + asmal, esmal enamel, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German smelzan to melt — more at smelt

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Time Traveler for enamel

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

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More Definitions for enamel



English Language Learners Definition of enamel

: a material like colored glass that is heated until it is liquid and then used to decorate the surface of metal, glass, or pottery

: something decorated with enamel

: the very hard outer layer of a tooth


enam·el | \i-ˈna-məl \
enameled or enamelled; enameling or enamelling

Kids Definition of enamel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cover or decorate with a smooth hard glossy coating enamel a pot



Kids Definition of enamel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a glassy substance used to coat the surface of metal, glass, and pottery

2 : the hard outer surface of the teeth

3 : a paint that dries to form a hard glossy coat


enam·el | \in-ˈam-əl \

Medical Definition of enamel 

: the intensely hard calcareous substance that forms a thin layer partly covering the teeth of many vertebrates including humans, is the hardest substance of the animal body, and consists of minute prisms secreted by ameloblasts, arranged at right angles to the surface, and bound together by a cement substance — compare cementum, dentin

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More from Merriam-Webster on enamel

Spanish Central: Translation of enamel

Nglish: Translation of enamel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about enamel

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