enam·​el | \ i-ˈna-məl How to pronounce enamel (audio) \
enameled or enamelled; enameling or enamelling\ i-​ˈnam-​liŋ How to pronounce enamel (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 enamel (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 Jeep Wrangler Extras The Wrangler is first into the muck, its torquey turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four spinning those big BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2s and immediately enameling its Hellayella paint with a chocolate candy shell. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs. 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD: Crossover Torture Test," 4 June 2020 French ovens, which are made with enameled cast iron to reduce sticking and endure the test of time, are functionally similar to Dutch ovens, but this one from Staub has sloped sides as opposed to the vertical sides seen with the brand's Dutch oven. Reviewed.com, "Staub's best-selling French oven is on sale for an amazing price right now," 2 June 2020 Weber Spirit II Propane Grill This propane grill features two burners topped with porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates. NBC News, "17 best Father's Day grilling gifts," 28 May 2020 In addition to the porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates, the grill has a warming rack to toast buns or to keep food warm. NBC News, "The 10 best Memorial Day grill sales," 16 May 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The world timer watch sports an immaculate cloisonné enamel dial with a depiction of the Eurasian landmass. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, "Attention Collectors: This ‘End Game’-Class Patek Philippe Could Reach Nearly $4 Million at Auction," 30 Mar. 2021 According to Peh, teeth are naturally yellow due to the dentin layer of tissue located below the enamel. Yoni Heisler, BGR, "Dentist explains a ridiculously easy way to help keep your teeth white," 22 Mar. 2021 Le Creuset Dutch ovens are known for their superior heat distribution and retention, coated in a long-lasting exterior enamel that resists chipping and cracking. Daria Smith, Southern Living, "The Best Dutch Ovens By Size," 3 Mar. 2021 Next comes a black enamel pot bobbing with bouncy rolled potato dumplings, cubed chayote and chicken thighs rubbed with epis, the all-purpose Haitian seasoning made from garlic, peppers and herbs. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "Gregory Gourdet turns to Haitian food at Kann Winter Village, and a food critic has his first date night in a year (in a yurt)," 26 Feb. 2021 Higher-end broiler pans with durable enamel or porcelain coatings often have a price point of $35 or more, largely depending on the manufacturer’s recognition factor in the marketplace. Michael Pollick, chicagotribune.com, "The best broiler pan," 19 Dec. 2020 Designed in sterling silver with a Tiffany Blue enamel accent, this whimsical straw is a fun and festive addition to the home. Harper's Magazine, "Gilded by Reason of Insanity," 24 Nov. 2020 Much like a tree trunk has growth rings for each year of life, teeth present growth lines, forming on a daily basis until the enamel is fully developed, the researchers explained. Francesca Giuliani-hoffman, CNN, "Neanderthal children grew and were weaned much like modern humans, new study says," 3 Nov. 2020 The oil-enamel works are expansive in vision yet intimate in scale, featuring brilliant strokes of white, yellow, pink, blue and purple floating atop glossy black backgrounds. Danielle Avram, Dallas News, "Painter Kirsten Macy wrestles with the isolation of 2020 in her new exhibition in Dallas," 12 Nov. 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

Cite this Entry

“Enamel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enamel. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on enamel

Nglish: Translation of enamel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about enamel

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