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


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

Sixties David Webb enameled lion head cuff links (and my wedding band)! Will Kahn, Town & Country, "The Story Behind Marc Jacobs' Wedding Cufflinks and Penguin Pins," 17 Apr. 2019 That's a savings of $180, or a whopping 70% off quality enameled cookware that looks just like French stuff. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Cuisinart Cast Iron Skillets Are More Than 70% Off on Amazon Today," 15 Aug. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So all eyes and hearts among the Amerikites became hardened with the enamel of fanaticism and the glaze of hysteria. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The Book of Donald," 4 Oct. 2018 If your child is somewhat older and teeth grinding is causing a significant amount of pain or problems such as misalignment or worn-down tooth enamel, her dentist may recommend a night guard. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Is your child's teeth grinding normal?," 30 June 2018 Owner Alvin Yapp has spent 30-plus years collecting 1,500 objects from Peranakan culture, most notably kasot manek (ornate beaded slippers worn by Straits Chinese women) and enamel tiffin carriers hand-painted in delicate floral patterns. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Things To Do In Singapore," 2 Mar. 2018 Others were secured with seed pearl or enamel barrettes or camellia brooches, another emblem of the house that Lagerfeld made his own. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Karl Lagerfeld’s Final Chanel Show Highlighted the Classic French Beauty He Loved," 5 Mar. 2019 Joan talks to Jayme about sealants, fluoride, and enamel and tells her about a dental office that provides free cleanings to kids under 6. Tracy Saelinger, Woman's Day, "This Nurse Helps New Moms When They're Most Vulnerable," 8 Jan. 2019 Professional fluoride treatments help remineralize your teeth when plaque has damaged that protective enamel, Mark S. Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D., dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, tells SELF. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is It Actually Possible to Get Rid of Cavities Without Fillings?," 17 Oct. 2018 Most of these are enamel or tin, some come with tiny pots and pans, and most are from different flea markets in Europe. Karen Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "Shout Out: Francesca Kelly, mass yard sale organizer," 6 July 2018 Minter’s eponymous exhibition will feature several large-scale works, including her iconic enamel-on-metal, photo-realistic paintings, as well as photographs and one video. Mary Dellas, The Cut, "Marilyn Minter’s New Works Will Show in Los Angeles," 15 May 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 entry 2

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Statistics for enamel

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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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