po·​len·​ta | \pō-ˈlen-tə, pə-, -ˌtä\

Definition of polenta 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: mush made of chestnut meal, cornmeal, semolina, or farina


biographical name
Po·​len·​ta | \pō-ˈlen-tə \

Definition of Polenta (Entry 2 of 2)

Francesca da died 1283(or 1284) Francesca da Rimini \ ˌfran-​ˈche-​skə-​dä-​ˈri-​mə-​(ˌ)nē , ˌfrän-​, -​ˈrē-​\ Italian noblewoman famous for tragic adulterous love affair

Examples of polenta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Remove bone from chicken, slice and serve on polenta. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Herb-Roasted Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes," 9 Oct. 2018 Add polenta and miso and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Chris Morocco, Bon Appetit, "Miso Polenta with Spring Vegetables and Tofu," 30 Apr. 2018 Featured dishes are sea urchin with polenta and kelp; kanpachi with radish and citrus pulp; and chocolate cremeux with cocoa soil and mint. Julie Giuffrida, latimes.com, "Where to eat out for Valentine's Day dinner," 5 Feb. 2018 Instead, expect risotto and polenta in Lombardy, plus lots of butter and meat alongside local cheeses like Taleggio, Gorgonzola, and Grana Padano. Christina Pérez, Vogue, "Call Me by Your Name," 6 Jan. 2018 As if that wasn’t enough, the polenta triangles on pesto with ricotta and fresh English peas put us over the top. Ina Pinkney, chicagotribune.com, "Interurban Boathouse, Frunchroom and Coffee Joint: Ina's best bets for breakfast this month," 23 May 2018 Coat both sides of polenta slices with nonstick spray. Heat a ridged stovetop grill pan or large nonstick skillet. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Sausage-Topped Polenta," 2 Jan. 2012 Beni served crispy skin salmon with polenta and beets three ways (fried, pureed and roasted) because salmon is the signature dish at her family’s Christmas Eve party. Tracy Swartz, chicagotribune.com, "Which Chicago-area kid earned a spot in the 'MasterChef Junior' finale?," 4 May 2018 Five bucks buys you fried polenta or fried mozzarella. Michael Klein, Philly.com, "Happy hour pick: Porta," 19 June 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polenta


Italian, from Latin, crushed and hulled barley; akin to Latin pollen fine flour

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17 Nov 2018

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The first known use of polenta was before the 12th century

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a private place of worship

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