Definition of treacle
1 : a medicinal compound formerly in wide use as a remedy against poison
2 chiefly British a : molassesb : a blend of molasses, invert sugar, and corn syrup used as syrup —called also golden syrup
3 : something (such as a tone of voice) heavily sweet and cloying
treacle was our Word of the Day on 05/11/2008. Hear the podcast!
Examples of treacle in a sentence
The book is ruined by all the treacle about his childhood.
Did You Know?
The long history of "treacle" begins in ancient Greece. The Greek word thēriakos, meaning "of a wild animal," came from "thērion" ("wild animal"). Since wild animals are often known to bite, these words gave rise to thēriakē, meaning "antidote against a poisonous bite." Latin borrowed thēriakē as "theriaca," and the word eventually entered Anglo-French - and then Middle English - as "triacle." The senses of "treacle" that refer to molasses developed from the earlier "antidote" sense. The "molasses" sense, in turn, was extended to give us a word for things excessively sweet or sentimental.
Origin and Etymology of treacle
Middle English triacle, from Anglo-French, from Latin theriaca, from Greek thēriakē antidote against a poisonous bite, from feminine of thēriakos of a wild animal, from thērion wild animal, diminutive of thēr wild animal — more at fierce
First Known Use: 14th century
TREACLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of treacle for English Language Learners
: a blend of molasses, sugar, and corn syrup
: something that is annoying because it is too sentimental
Medical Definition of treacle
: a medicinal compound formerly in wide use as a remedy against poison
Seen and Heard
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