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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Synonyms for macaroni


beau, Beau Brummell, buck, dandy, dude, fop, gallant, jay, lounge lizard, pretty boy, toff [chiefly British]

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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 cook prepared fried chicken, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and sweet tea, which Michael served. Luzanne Otte, Town & Country, "A Day in the Life of Southern Charm's Patricia Altschul," 12 July 2018 There’s also a hot dog topped with macaroni and cheese and lump crab. Randy Mcroberts, The Aegis, "New season, new fun, new food coming with IronBirds opener," 7 June 2018 Also available are crab cake sandwiches, shrimp baskets, pierogis as a side, cabbage and noodles, rice and beans, macaroni and cheese as a side, coleslaw, applesauce, clam chowder and various beverages. Carol Kovach,, "Nominations sought for Fairview Park Citizen of the Year: A Place in the Sun," 13 Feb. 2018 The Johnny Utah features smoked pork and macaroni and cheese. Kyle Arnold,, "Wacky taco purveyor Jimmy Hula's opening downtown," 11 July 2018 Prices are a far cry from those $1.99 deals of years past featuring steam tables heaped with fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. Jay Jones,, "Las Vegas buffets are legendary — and now, reinvented. Here are four offering fresh takes," 19 June 2018 As veteran cheesemonger and food writer Gordon Edgar shows in his Zocalo essay, macaroni and cheese is an American staple with a history that stretches back to colonial times. Ben Huberman, Longreads, "Cheese and Macaroni Do Not a Mac and Cheese Make," 5 June 2018 Half of all children in the U.S. will eat macaroni and cheese during that same time period. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Mac and Cheese Fest returns to Houston for second year of dairy and carb goodness," 27 Mar. 2018 There will be a booth set up at the restaurant location and Mac Shack will give out free samples of its signature macaroni and cheese. Jennie Key,, "Lots of options: West Siders have eat-out options and more are coming," 13 July 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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Statistics for macaroni

Last Updated

9 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on macaroni

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with macaroni

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for macaroni

Spanish Central: Translation of macaroni

Nglish: Translation of macaroni for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of macaroni for Arabic Speakers

Comments on macaroni

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a nest or breeding place

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