pop·​corn | \ˈpäp-ˌkȯrn \

Definition of popcorn 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: corn (Zea mays everta synonym Z. mays praecox) having kernels that upon exposure to heat burst open to form a white starchy mass also : the kernels especially after popping



Definition of popcorn (Entry 2 of 2)

: having widespread appeal but usually offering little artistic merit or intellectual stimulation popcorn movies

Examples of popcorn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

More recently, in 1994 the Center for Science in the Public Interest published an analysis of movie popcorn. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "How coconut oil went from health food to “poison”," 23 Aug. 2018 YouTube, meanwhile, has been publicly silent as viewers continue to eat popcorn. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "A controversial YouTuber’s suicidal claims have fans questioning his motives," 24 Sep. 2018 On the screen: Adults can munch on free popcorn while watching a free film at the Elm Grove Public Library, 13600 Juneau Blvd. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 things to do this week in the western suburbs," 10 July 2018 In honor of the new location, today's visitors can get a free sample of chili-lime popcorn from Campbell's Sweet Factory, Ohio City Burrito's neighbor both downtown and in Ohio City, while supplies last. Nikki Delamotte, cleveland.com, "Ohio City Burrito opens in downtown Cleveland," 7 May 2018 This material, called DuraSense, looks a bit like popcorn. The Economist, "Making buildings, cars and planes from materials based on plant fibres," 14 June 2018 Fly solo with bottomless popcorn for $20, or bring a date and book a loveseat for $24 per person. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "Here Are the Five Coolest Things Happening in L.A. This Weekend," 7 June 2018 In 1950, young Congressman Jack is a faithless and forgetful lover, but Alicia Darr, a Polish immigrant working as popcorn girl at a Hyannis Port movie theater, is smitten. Patty Rhule, USA TODAY, "Young Jack Kennedy's real-life summertime fling inspires cynical novel," 28 May 2018 The cacophony of the theater, throngs of people, and pops of the popcorn machine might dredge up memories of panic and gunfire. Daily Intelligencer, "This Unique Approach to Veteran Wellness Puts Family First," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The novel—a whodunnit that centers on five 20- and 30-something women who star on a fictional reality TV show, Goal Diggers, until one of them winds up dead—looks at first to be standard popcorn chick-lit. Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "'The Favorite Sister' Is the Thinking Woman's Summer Beach Read," 15 May 2018 The film will be preceded by a 4 p.m. popcorn reception with Richard, who will participate in a post-screening discussion. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "'Dirty Dancing' shimmies its way back into theaters, topping this week's movie events," 15 Aug. 2017

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


1823, in the meaning defined above


1950, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near popcorn


pop art

pop ash


popcorn flower



Statistics for popcorn

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for popcorn

The first known use of popcorn was in 1823

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More Definitions for popcorn



English Language Learners Definition of popcorn

: corn in the form of hard yellow seeds that burst open and become soft and white when they are heated


pop·​corn | \ˈpäp-ˌkȯrn \

Kids Definition of popcorn

1 : corn whose kernels burst open when exposed to high heat to form white or yellowish puffy pieces

2 : the kernels after popping

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More from Merriam-Webster on popcorn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with popcorn

Spanish Central: Translation of popcorn

Nglish: Translation of popcorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of popcorn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about popcorn

Comments on popcorn

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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