mac·​a·​ro·​ni | \ ˌma-kə-ˈrō-nē How to pronounce macaroni (audio) \

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

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 creamy macaroni comes doused in a cheesy sauce, with a side of steamed broccoli ($9). oregonlive, 19 Apr. 2022 This macaroni and cheese casserole is of the sliceable type, made with eggs, milk and a generous amount of sharp cheddar cheese. USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 The signature fusion dish at Nice Day Chinese, mapo macaroni and cheese. NBC News, 23 Mar. 2022 Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package for al dente. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 7 Mar. 2022 Homemade macaroni and cheese, desserts, soda, and beer available separately. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 Feb. 2022 An English muffin with peanut butter on it will sate our starving boys for up to 25 minutes, enough time to boil up some macaroni and cheese or order a pizza. Annabel Monaghan, The Week, 18 Nov. 2019 Kraft has been known to experiment with their beloved macaroni and cheese boxes. Sabrina Weiss,, 21 Oct. 2021 The company will add a vegan macaroni and cheese and children's snacks later this year. Nick Williams, Star Tribune, 9 July 2021 See More

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.

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 Hesychius (5th-6th century a.d.).

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The first known use of macaroni was in 1599

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macaroni and cheese

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Macaroni.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for macaroni


mac·​a·​ro·​ni | \ ˌma-kə-ˈrō-nē How to pronounce macaroni (audio) \

Kids Definition of macaroni

: pasta in the shape of little curved tubes

More from Merriam-Webster on macaroni

Nglish: Translation of macaroni for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of macaroni for Arabic Speakers


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