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


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

Skip to main content While the internet debates which is the best chicken sandwich, fast-food chain KFC is turning its attention to macaroni and cheese. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "KFC is rolling out Mac & Cheese Bowls on August 26," 22 Aug. 2019 As of Monday, Chick-fil-A offers macaroni and cheese as a side option nationwide -- the only addition since 2016. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Chick-fil-A adds mac and cheese to the menu," 12 Aug. 2019 For children, there’s the Court Jester’s Surprise ($21.95) with kid-friendly savories like PB&J, pigs in a blanket and macaroni and cheese, plus a mini-scone and choice of beverage (milk, juice, cocoa, lemonade or tea). Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "First Look: Lisa’s Tea Treasures returns in all of its Victorian-era glory," 5 Aug. 2019 Manufacturers of everything from leather to macaroni were acutely aware of how changing weather conditions threatened their product, and Carrier’s equipment garnered more interest with enthusiastic press coverage. Haleema Shah, Smithsonian, "The Unexpected History of the Air Conditioner," 24 June 2019 The 33,000-square-foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center is home to 75 king, rockhopper, macaroni and gentoo penguins. Elissa Robinson, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Zoo to close penguin center for 9 months due to 'faulty waterproofing'," 20 June 2019 Yes, there were steaks, but also king crab claws, seafood towers, truffle macaroni and cheese and key lime pie just to name a few of the dishes. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Houston senior who fed pizza to homeless instead of graduation party is feted by posh steakhouse," 17 June 2019 Pulled pork, barbecue chicken, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread will be among the offerings. Steve Smith,, "Food, Fun Focus Of Fireworks Festivities," 13 June 2019 In high school, Braiden would invite the younger kids in the neighborhood over after school to do their homework and eat macaroni and cheese. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, "Braiden Schirtzinger is non-binary, pregnant and about to take on the most gendered role of all," 16 Aug. 2019

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

2 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce macaroni (audio) \

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

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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