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

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Synonyms for macaroni


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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 This year, diners have a choice of fish, shrimp or salmon, with a salad bar and a choice of sides, which include pierogis, French fries or macaroni and cheese, plus coffee. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Powell makes a difference; presented with Paul Harris Fellowship: Whit & Whimsey," 14 Feb. 2020 The department received complaints in late January, alleging the dining hall served moldy bread and bugs were found in orders of macaroni and cheese. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Roaches, bugs in food lead to Georgia college’s student union closing," 13 Feb. 2020 With a diet of six to eight chocolate bars a day, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, Perdue was 308 lbs. by age 29, and was pre-diabetic, had sleep apnea and a mild form of polycycstic ovary syndrome. People Staff,, "Get Inspired by These Incredible Weight Loss Transformations," 30 Dec. 2019 The roster of fare at the Heights restaurant also includes several new items: chicken wings, waffles, collard greens, ice cream and macaroni and cheese. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Mico’s Hot Chicken to get brick-and-mortar location in the Heights," 6 Dec. 2019 Colorful paper-and-feather headbands, paper-bag vests and macaroni necklaces have been a staple in elementary classrooms for decades, used to teach students about Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "Native American costumes for Thanksgiving draw parent complaint at Alabama school," 23 Nov. 2019 According to Kristi Weber, Oconomowoc's community development specialist, the food pantry is looking for donations of macaroni and cheese. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "See what two Lake Country communities are doing differently this year for the Holiday Train event," 20 Nov. 2019 That's good news, considering kiddie staples such as macaroni and cheese showed up in the Better Babies list of most neurotoxic foods. CNN, "How to avoid toxic metals in your baby's food (and yours)," 21 Oct. 2019 There’s a brunch menu on the weekend and traditional favorites running the gamut from nachos, truffle fries and burgers to fish and chips and a four-cheese macaroni and cheese dish. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Looking for the best sports bar in your neighborhood? Here are 15 around metro Phoenix," 17 Jan. 2020

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

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The first known use of macaroni was in 1599

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Macaroni.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for macaroni


How to pronounce macaroni (audio)

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 How to pronounce macaroni (audio) \

Kids Definition of macaroni

: pasta in the shape of little curved tubes

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