Definitions

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

  • noun A small rich cake, baked in a shell-shaped mold.

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

  • noun A small gateau or sponge cake, often shaped like an elongated scallop shell.
  • noun Something which brings back a memory; a source of nostalgia or evocative memories (used with reference to its function in Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time).

Etymologies

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

[French, from earler gâteau à la Madeleine, cake à la Madeleine, after the name Madeleine, perhaps that of the person who invented or popularized the cakes.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French madeleine, earlier gâteau à la Madeleine, of uncertain origin; attributed in some sources to a 19th-century pastry cook Madeleine Paulmier whose existence is now considered dubious. (Compare Oxford English Dictionary, Trésor de la Langue Française)

Examples

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