fru·​men·​ty ˈfrü-mən-tē How to pronounce frumenty (audio)
variants or less commonly furmity
plural frumenties
: a dish of wheat boiled in milk and usually sweetened and spiced

Word History


Middle English frumenty, furmenty, borrowed from Anglo-French formenté, fromenté, frumenté (continental Middle French fromentee), from furment, frument "wheat" (going back to Vulgar Latin *frumentum, alteration of Latin frūmentum "the fruit of cereal plants, grain") + -é, reduced from -ee, suffix of association or containment, going back to Late Latin -āta (going back to Latin, feminine of -ātus -ate entry 3); frūmentum going back to frūg-, base of frūx (usually in plural) "edible produce of plants, fruit, crops, grain" and fruor, fruī "to enjoy the produce or proceeds of, derive advantage from" + -mentum -ment — more at fruit entry 1

Note: The variant furmity is best known from the role rum-laced furmity or frumenty plays in Thomas Hardy's novel The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886).

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of frumenty was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near frumenty

Cite this Entry

“Frumenty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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