enam·​el | \ i-ˈna-məl How to pronounce enamel (audio) \
enameled or enamelled; enameling or enamelling\ i-​ˈnam-​liŋ How to pronounce enamelling (audio) , -​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
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 How to pronounce enamelist (audio) \ noun

Examples of enamel in a Sentence

Noun 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 This 10 ¼ skillet won in America’s Test Kitchen’s favorite enameled cast iron skillet category. NBC News, "The best cast iron cookware, according to chefs and experts," 17 Mar. 2020 The colors will be available in a variety of Le Creuset products from enameled cast iron to stoneware and bakeware. Nena Farrell, Sunset Magazine, "Le Creuset’s Brand-New Colors Have Us Drooling," 12 Feb. 2020 Cookware, like Le Creuset, France's enameled cast iron culinary stalwart. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Here's why European wine and cheese prices may be about to skyrocket," 13 Jan. 2020 This 22-inch model can cook 13 burgers at once and both the bowl and lid are porcelain-enameled and don’t retain heat or rust. Popular Science, "Four grills that make barbecue season last all year long," 23 Oct. 2019 Its ceiling and walls are covered in handmade glass tiles in shades from aquamarine to jade; fumed, ebonized, and waxed oak floors are custom cut in an Escher-like pattern; and the centerpiece is a vast exhaust hood enameled in forest green. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, "This Candy-Colored Revivalist Mansion Outside Chicago Brings the Drama," 16 Oct. 2019 This workshop is a comprehensive introduction to the wonderful world of enameling. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Brecksville LobsterFest -- another delicious success: Talk of the Towns," 25 Oct. 2019 While there are plenty of affordable cast-iron skillets available, some more expensive options, like Le Creuset’s pans, are enameled. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "The 8 Best Cast-Iron Skillets to Last a Lifetime," 29 July 2019 Founded in 1925, this iconic French brand has earned legions of devoted fans thanks to their hearty enameled cast iron pots, dutch ovens, and pans and sturdy stone bakewear. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Your Wish-Listed Le Creuset Cookware Is On Sale Right Now," 23 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Faberge is even selling a $9,500 red enamel egg locket with 17 round white diamonds set in yellow gold. Kim Bhasin, Bloomberg.com, "Can Rats Be Chic? Fashion Labels Are Trying For Lunar New Year," 8 May 2020 The shining, gem-like enamel finish makes a gorgeous centerpiece in any kitchen. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Products to Help You Master French Cooking During the Quarantine," 15 Apr. 2020 Over the next few years, his Kingdom collection came to encompass a full menagerie of enamel zebras, coral fish, gold lions, and diamond leopards. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A New David Webb Exhibition Celebrates the Jeweler’s Animal Instinct," 13 Mar. 2020 On Etsy, the fandom had created a market for pink princess merchandise, like enamel pins and t-shirts. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "The Princess, the Plantfluencers, and the Pink Congo Scam," 19 Feb. 2020 Vintage ceramic tagines and the pretty enamel Dutch ovens are workhorses in the oven that double as centerpieces on the table. Julie Tong, Vogue, "How to Host the Perfect Fall Dinner Party, According to 3 Chefs," 21 Nov. 2019 First, Christine goes through the couture clutches ranging from marble-print enamel to fur-covered, before making her way through the clothing. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside the Competitive Sport of Haute Couture," 3 Oct. 2019 This cast-iron skillet has a special matte black enamel coating, unlike traditional skillets. Alicia Kortendick, cleveland, "Le Creuset is having an online sale for the first time ever – here are some deals worth checking out," 9 Apr. 2020 The featured expert will also advise on the dangers of improperly whitening teeth with risk factors that include permanent damage to tooth enamel and gums. Anna Canzano, oregonlive, "Anna Canzano: Teeth whitening. Taking your questions.," 15 Feb. 2020

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 entry 2

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Time Traveler for enamel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for enamel

Last Updated

15 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enamel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enamel. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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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 How to pronounce enamel (audio) \
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 How to pronounce enamel (audio) \

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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