po·​len·​ta pō-ˈlen-tə How to pronounce polenta (audio)
: mush made of chestnut meal, cornmeal, semolina, or farina

Examples of polenta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The cooked polenta is poured into a pan, cooled, and chilled. Wini Moranville, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Jan. 2024 Corn flour: The base of polenta, grits and corn tortillas is 100-percent gluten-free. Nina Lincoff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 Uncover the polenta and bake until heated through about 25 minutes. Wini Moranville, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Jan. 2024 Polenta Stuffed With Squash and Mushrooms Mix things up with a savory polenta casserole filled with squash and mushrooms. Anna Luisa Rodriguez, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 More about Yotam Ottolenghi A version of this article appears in print on Nov. 19, 2023, Page 22 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: Seeing Is Believing: A simmering polenta finished with an infused oil illustrates flavor in action.. Yotam Ottolenghi, New York Times, 15 Nov. 2023 My mom makes steak tips and mushrooms in brown gravy with roasted broccoli and polenta. Bon Appétit Contributor, Bon Appétit, 2 Nov. 2023 When the next dish came—a meatball (soft, mild) atop a dollop of polenta (mild, soft)—I could hardly bring myself to take a second bite. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2023 One person’s lasagna Bolognese is another person’s mushroom taco, and one person’s polenta with chickpeas is another person’s Spam musubi. Joe Yonan, Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polenta.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near polenta

Cite this Entry

“Polenta.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polenta. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


po·​len·​ta pō-ˈlen-tə How to pronounce polenta (audio)
: mush made of chestnut meal, cornmeal, or grain

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Po·​len·​ta pō-ˈlen-tə How to pronounce Polenta (audio)
Francesca da died 1283(or 1284) Francesca da Rimini ˌfran-ˈche-skə-dä-ˈri-mə-(ˌ)nē How to pronounce Polenta (audio)
Italian noblewoman famous for tragic adulterous love affair

More from Merriam-Webster on polenta

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