from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A smooth chewy candy made with sugar, butter, cream or milk, and flavoring.
  • noun Burnt sugar, used for coloring and sweetening foods.
  • noun A moderate yellow brown.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Anhydrous or burnt sugar, a product of the action of heat upon sugar.
  • noun A sweet, variously composed and flavored, but generally consisting of chocolate, sugar, and butter, and dark-colored.
  • noun Sometimes spelled caromel.
  • In candy- and cheese-making, to become burned and browned: said of the sugar dissolved in milk or syrups under the influence of heat; caramelize. See caramel, n.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Chem.) Burnt sugar; a brown or black porous substance obtained by heating sugar. It is soluble in water, and is used for coloring spirits, gravies, etc.
  • noun A kind of confectionery, usually a small cube or square of tenacious paste, or candy, of varying composition and flavor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A smooth, chewy, sticky confection made by heating sugar and other ingredients until the sugars polymerize and become sticky.
  • noun A (sometimes hardened) piece of this confection.
  • noun A yellow-brown color.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun firm chewy candy made from caramelized sugar and butter and milk
  • adjective having the color of caramel; of a moderate yellow-brown
  • noun burnt sugar; used to color and flavor food
  • noun a medium to dark tan color


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Old French, from Old Spanish caramel, caramelo, from Portuguese caramel, from Late Latin calamellus, diminutive of Latin calamus, reed, cane, from Greek kalamos.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French caramel



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  • Our great day, she said. Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Sweet name too: caramel.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 8

    January 3, 2007

  • See this map for American pronunciation.

    April 10, 2008

  • The American Heritage audio pronunciation is unlike any I've heard before. I've heard "CAR mull" and "CARE a mell" but never "CAR a mull."

    December 5, 2009

  • I've never heard that pronunciation either. A bit odd to my ear.

    December 5, 2009

  • I've heard "car mull" more often than "car a mull"

    December 5, 2009

  • "car a mull" is straight out.

    December 5, 2009

  • I was raised saying "car-mull", but at some point, I made a conscious decision to switch over to "care-a-mull". I figured, hey, if both pronunciations are acceptible, I may as well use the one I like better.

    February 22, 2011

  • I heard both, but I always suspected they were two different things.

    February 22, 2011

  • More like CA-re-mell for me, middle vowel is schwaish.

    February 22, 2011

  • Ditto Bilby. "Car-mull" is ludicrous.

    February 22, 2011