in·​gre·​di·​ent in-ˈgrē-dē-ənt How to pronounce ingredient (audio)
: something that enters into a compound or is a component part of any combination or mixture : constituent
ingredient adjective
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.
Recent Examples on the Web The process had taken less than half an hour, and the ingredients had cost about a hundred dollars. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 13 June 2024 Today, as Balinese chefs resurrect heritage recipes and find creative ways to incorporate traditional ingredients, that’s slowly changing. Chris Schalkx, Travel + Leisure, 13 June 2024 Add this cement bunny lid container to your kitchen for a convenient and cute place to keep ingredients handy, store eggs in this charming speckled egg holder, or explore making your own sourdough bread with help from an $8 starter that’s 233 years old. Ali Faccenda, Peoplemag, 13 June 2024 The best healthy meal kits, in my opinion, are flexible and focused around high-quality ingredients and actually delicious food. Carina Finn, Bon Appétit, 13 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for ingredient 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ingredient.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin ingredient-, ingrediens, present participle of ingredi to go into, from in- + gradi to go — more at grade entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near ingredient

Cite this Entry

“Ingredient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​gre·​di·​ent in-ˈgrēd-ē-ənt How to pronounce ingredient (audio)
: one of the substances that make up a mixture
ingredients of a salad

Medical Definition


in·​gre·​di·​ent in-ˈgrēd-ē-ənt How to pronounce ingredient (audio)
: 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 milkMorris Fishbein
ingredient adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on ingredient

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