cav·​i·​ar | \ ˈka-vē-ˌär How to pronounce caviar (audio) also ˈkä- \
variants: or less commonly caviare

Definition of caviar

1 : processed salted roe of large fish (such as sturgeon)
2 : something considered too delicate or lofty for mass appreciation usually used in the phrase caviar to the general
3 : something considered the best of its kind

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The eggs, or roe, of sturgeon are called caviar. Preserved with salt, caviar is usually eaten as an appetizer. Most true caviar is produced in Russia and Iran, from fish taken from the Caspian and Black seas. The best grade, beluga, is prepared from large black or gray eggs; fresh beluga caviar is relatively scarce and thus expensive. Lesser grades are from smaller, denser eggs. In the U.S., the roe of salmon, whitefish, lumpfish, and paddlefish is sometimes sold under the name caviar.

Examples of caviar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ontiveros will put his stamp on the menu by pairing caviar with sourdough honey crumpets alongside traditional garnishes. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 8 Dec. 2021 In town, there was an English pharmacy and a shop selling caviar. Zoey Poll, Harper’s Magazine , 7 Dec. 2021 In 1987, La Prairie discovered that caviar had the ability to nourish, lift and firm skin. Celia Shatzman, Forbes, 31 Oct. 2021 In celebration of her successful fragrance launch (that sold out in hours, btw), Rihanna snapped this Instagram photo eating caviar for breakfast. Essence, 18 Aug. 2021 Earlier this week, Rihanna took to Instagram to celebrate her debut Fenty perfume completely selling out within days of its release, marking the occasion by enjoying caviar for breakfast in bed. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 13 Aug. 2021 Little Em’s knows how to present caviar, because the show is an important part of a few spoonfuls of fish roe for $90. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, 24 June 2021 And do yourself a favor: Order a side of the hash brown fingers ($6), the same perfectly crisp, perfectly rectangular sticks that the owners have served with caviar and creme fraiche at another of their restaurants, EsterEv. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 Dec. 2021 The shop carries oysters and caviar and specialty cheeses, as well as a curated selection of everything from vinyl records to hot pepper sauces and fine wine. Globe Staff,, 17 Dec. 2021

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

circa 1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for caviar

earlier cavery, caviarie, from obsolete Italian caviari, plural of caviaro, from Turkish havyar

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Time Traveler for caviar

Time Traveler

The first known use of caviar was circa 1560

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Caviar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of caviar

: the eggs of a large fish (such as the sturgeon) that are salted and eaten as food

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for caviar

Nglish: Translation of caviar for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about caviar


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