macaroni

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for macaroni

Synonyms

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

It's served with top-notch macaroni and sharp cheese. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Clyborne Provisions and Spirits is a suburban surprise," 27 June 2018 The result is nothing like macaroni and cheese, or like cheesy cauliflower. Melissa Clark, New York Times, "Mac and Cheese Eats Its Vegetables," 2 Mar. 2018 This recipe for jalapeño popper macaroni and cheese is in the book, too. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "Jalapeno popper macaroni and cheese: A childhood favorite grows up," 15 Feb. 2018 Eating macaroni and cheese was the closest thing this young non-believer had to sin. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appetit, "A Lactose Intolerant's Guide to Loving Cheese Again," 27 Apr. 2018 The macaroni and cheese ($5) was a bit dry and mostly forgettable. Anchorage Daily News, "New eatery Bread and Brew has a lot of potential," 23 Jan. 2018 His sides of flavorful rice and beans and rich and deliciously creamy macaroni and cheese completed the indulgent meal. Laura Demarco, cleveland.com, "Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles brings Southern comfort to Cleveland (photos)," 8 Jan. 2018 This three-cheese macaroni and cheese casserole is ready in snap and oh so delicious. Country Living, "Marilyn's Mac and Cheese," 20 Jan. 2012 Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top. Ina Garten, House Beautiful, "Ina Garten's Mac and Cheese," 5 Aug. 2010

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.

See More

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.).

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about macaroni

Listen to Our Podcast about macaroni

Statistics for macaroni

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for macaroni

The first known use of macaroni was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for macaroni

macaroni

noun

English Language Learners Definition of macaroni

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

macaroni

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a secret plot to overthrow a government

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!