mac·a·ro·ni | \ˌma-kə-ˈrō-nē \

Definition of macaroni 

1 : pasta made from semolina and shaped in the form of slender tubes

2 plural macaronis or macaronies [ Macaroni Club, a group of such Englishmen ]

a : a member of a class of traveled young Englishmen of the late 18th and early 19th centuries who affected foreign ways

b : an affected young man : fop

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Did You Know?

As you may have suspected, the macaroni in the song "Yankee Doodle" is not the familiar food. The feather in Yankee Doodle's cap apparently makes him a macaroni in the now rare "fop" or "dandy" sense. The sense appears to have originated with a club established in London by a group of young, well-traveled Englishmen in the 1760s. The founders prided themselves on their appearance, sense of style, and manners, and they chose the name Macaroni Club to indicate their worldliness. Because macaroni was, at the time, a new and rather exotic food in England, the name was meant to demonstrate how stylish the club's members were. The members were themselves called macaronis, and eventually macaroni became synonymous with dandy and fop.

Examples of macaroni in a Sentence

the glitter rock of the 1970s seemed more about mascaraed macaronis than about music

Recent Examples on the Web

The event will feature homemade soups, chili and sandwiches (vegetarian options available), macaroni and cheese, an extensive dessert bar, huge raffle basket table, sideboards, 50/50 raffle and more. Rich Heileman,, "City's aquatics program takes 1st place award: Around The Town," 9 Feb. 2018 That's the local company that owns many popular bars in Cincinnati, such as The Pavilion, The Lackman, as well as Keystone macaroni and cheese restaurant, and bars in Chicago. Polly Campbell,, "It's last call tonight at Lachey's Bar," 6 Feb. 2018 The Mac Attack — fried macaroni and cheese — shouldn’t be missed. David Ferry,, "Mavericks legend Jeff Clark’s favorite spots in Half Moon Bay," 10 July 2018 Sides round out the meals, like fries, coleslaw and macaroni and potato salads. Leeanne Griffin,, "Climb The Treehouse At Oyster Club For A Summertime View Of Mystic," 2 July 2018 Kinnavy’s personal favorites from the deli are the homemade potato salad and the macaroni salad. Kimberly Fornek,, "Kramer Foods renovation to include a new deli counter and kitchen," 3 July 2018 Menus at the other American Social locations feature burgers, steak, truffle macaroni and cheese and a full bar. Kyle Arnold,, "South Florida's American Social Bar & Kitchen coming to Orlando," 25 May 2018 There are a billion ways to make macaroni and cheese. Paula Forbes, GQ, "How to Make the Absolute Best Mac and Cheese," 18 Apr. 2018 Some decide to take their chances on another trip north, moving to The Dune, an otherworldly open-air market a few kilometers away, where macaroni and gasoline from Algeria are sold out of the back of pickups and donkey carts. Fox News, "Algeria abandons 13,000 migrants in the Sahara," 25 June 2018

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

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for macaroni

borrowed from regional Italian, plural of macarone (Tuscan maccherone) "tubular pasta," earlier also "stuffed pasta of various shapes," probably borrowed from Middle Greek makarṓneia "funeral hymn," later with the presumed meaning "food served at a funeral banquet" (whence Modern Greek dialect makarōniá in this sense), of uncertain origin

Note: Though the Greek origin of Italian macaroni appears likely, many details are unclear. It has been speculated that the word makarṓneia is a blend of makários "blessed" and aiṓnios "eternal" (words perhaps coupled in funeral orations and memorial services), though this etymology is quite tenuous. The development of the food sense is also difficult to explain—perhaps it has developed through association with Greek makaría "dish of broth and barley groats," an apparently ancient word of uncertain origin attested only in the work of the Greek lexicographer Hesychios (5th-6th century a.d.).

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Phrases Related to macaroni

macaroni and cheese

macaroni cheese

Statistics for macaroni

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for macaroni

The first known use of macaroni was in 1599

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More Definitions for macaroni



English Language Learners Definition of macaroni

: a type of pasta in the shape of small curved tubes


mac·a·ro·ni | \ˌma-kə-ˈrō-nē \

Kids Definition of macaroni

: pasta in the shape of little curved tubes

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Comments on macaroni

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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