in·​gre·​di·​ent | \in-ˈgrē-dē-ənt \

Definition of ingredient 

: something that enters into a compound or is a component part of any combination or mixture : constituent

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Other Words from ingredient

ingredient adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for ingredient


building block, component, constituent, element, factor, member



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Choose the Right Synonym for ingredient

element, component, constituent, ingredient mean one of the parts of a compound or complex whole. element applies to any such part and often connotes irreducible simplicity. the basic elements of geometry component and constituent may designate any of the substances (whether elements or compounds) or the qualities that enter into the makeup of a complex product; component stresses its separate entity or distinguishable character. the components of a stereo system constituent stresses its essential and formative character. the constituents of a chemical compound ingredient applies to any of the substances which when combined form a particular mixture. the ingredients of a cocktail

Examples of ingredient in a Sentence

He uses only the finest ingredients in his cooking. the ingredients of a salad the ingredients in the soap Honesty is an essential ingredient of a successful marriage. The show has all the ingredients needed to attract a large audience.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Well, okay, the ingredients aren’t necessarily in place in a traditional sense. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The Beto O’Rourke 2020 buzz, explained," 20 Nov. 2018 The main ingredient is deoxycholic acid, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of fat. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "'Selfie awareness' has millennials turning to double chin removal procedures," 21 Sep. 2018 The key ingredient is zinc pyrithione, which Erdman says hydrates and rids flakes and itch to give you healthy brow skin and brows. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Do Eyebrows Grow Back When You've Over-plucked?," 21 Aug. 2018 But the significant thing is that those ingredients were essentially the same ones used to treat the bodies of New Kingdom royalty 2,500 years later. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient Egyptians had been making mummies longer than anyone thought," 16 Aug. 2018 The ingredient in question is glyphosate, which California added to a list of chemicals known to cause cancer just last year. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Monsanto's Roundup Is on Trial. The Charge: Causing Cancer," 10 July 2018 Joe's Kansas City What's the key ingredient in Kansas City's most famous sandwich? Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Batter up: Here are 18 KC-area places to get perfect, golden-fried onion rings," 21 June 2018 The key ingredient is peanut butter, whose salty smoothness hits the American cheese, bacon, and beef with an extra bomb of umami. Michael Klein,, "Peanut butter and bacon - and a burger," 20 June 2018 The ingredients are totally vegan, and the wide range of colors complements any skin tone. Maria Cassano, Allure, "Beauty Bakerie Is Now Sold at Ulta Stores," 31 Oct. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ingredient

Middle English, from Latin ingredient-, ingrediens, present participle of ingredi to go into, from in- + gradi to go — more at grade

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ingredient

The first known use of ingredient was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of ingredient

: one of the things that are used to make a food, product, etc.

: a quality or characteristic that makes something possible


in·​gre·​di·​ent | \in-ˈgrē-dē-ənt \

Kids Definition of ingredient

: one of the substances that make up a mixture


in·​gre·​di·​ent | \in-ˈgrēd-ē-ənt \

Medical Definition of ingredient 

: something that enters into a compound or is a component part of any combination or mixture formula which will have just about the same ingredients as mother's milk— Morris Fishbein

Other Words from ingredient

ingredient adjective

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Comments on ingredient

What made you want to look up ingredient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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