madeleine

noun
mad·​e·​leine | \ ˈma-də-lən How to pronounce madeleine (audio) , ˌma-də-ˈlān How to pronounce madeleine (audio) \

Definition of madeleine

1 : a small rich shell-shaped cake
2 : one that evokes a memory

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The Madeleine Goes Back to France

The madeleine is said to have been named after a 19th-century French cook named Madeleine Paumier, but it was the French author Marcel Proust who immortalized the pastry in his 1913 book Swann's Way, the first volume of his seven-part novel Remembrance of Things Past. In that work, a taste of tea-soaked cake evokes a surge of memory and nostalgia. As more and more readers chewed on the profound mnemonic power attributed to a mere morsel of cake, the word madeleine itself became a designation for anything that evokes a memory.

Examples of madeleine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Food items include sets of mini cakes, macarons, cookies, madeleines and popcorn. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "The Hello Kitty Cafe truck is returning to Arizona. Here's when you can catch it," 24 Oct. 2019 Lincoln's vacation house is a madeleine dipped in beer. Ron Charles, Dallas News, "In Richard Russo's 'Chances Are...,' a charming reunion unearths a chilling disappearance," 30 July 2019 Lincoln’s vacation house is a madeleine dipped in beer. Ron Charles Critic, Washington Post, "In Richard Russo’s ‘Chances Are,’ a charming reunion unearths a chilling disappearance," 29 July 2019 Dip half of each madeleine in chocolate, then sprinkle with lavender and let set. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "White Chocolate and Lavender Madeleines," 30 Apr. 2019 There were trays of madeleines and a stage with thudding speakers. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "Paris is pitching itself as the next-best thing for tech startups," 3 July 2019 Remove pan from oven and immediately release madeleines from pan by rapping pan on counter. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "White Chocolate and Lavender Madeleines," 30 Apr. 2019 Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and poppy seeds in a bowl (thin with water if needed); drizzle over madeleines. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Jasmine Madeleines With Lemon-Poppy Seed Glaze," 1 Mar. 2019 Remove pan from oven and immediately release madeleines by rapping pan on counter. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Jasmine Madeleines With Lemon-Poppy Seed Glaze," 1 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'madeleine.' 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 madeleine

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for madeleine

French, perhaps from Madeleine Paumier, 19th century French pastry cook

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Time Traveler for madeleine

Time Traveler

The first known use of madeleine was in 1829

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Cite this Entry

“Madeleine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/madeleine. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on madeleine

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about madeleine

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