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

  • noun Marzipan.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A confection made of pounded pistachio-nuts or almonds, with sugar, white of egg, etc. It was made into various ornamental devices.
  • noun Hence—2. Something very fine or dainty.

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

  • noun obsolete A kind of sweet bread or biscuit; a cake of pounded almonds and sugar. Called also marzipan.

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

  • noun obsolete marzipan

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

  • noun almond paste and egg whites


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

[Ultimately (perhaps partly via German Marzipan and obsolete French marcepain and influenced by obsolete English pain, bread) from Italian marzapane; see marzipan.]



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  • Hot herringpies, green mugs of sack, honeysauces, sugar of roses, marchpane, gooseberried pigeons, ringocandies.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 9

    January 6, 2007

  • "Pudding. Sure, it starts with pudding or marchpane; then it is the toss of a coin which fails first, your hair or your teeth, your eyes or your ears; then comes impoetence, for age gelds a man without hope or reprieve, saving him a mort of anguish."

    --O'Brian, The Truelove, 115

    I like this not just for the vocabulary, but it reflects my own tendency to take a perfectly acceptable thing or word (in this case pudding) and delve so deeply into pessimism that we end up, in the end, at decay. It's kind of like niche worrying.

    March 11, 2008

  • Niche worrying indeed! Excellent gloomy work there, c_b.

    And is marchpane a variant of marzipan, do you know?

    March 11, 2008

  • No idea. I bet sionnach knows though.

    March 11, 2008

  • Somehow impoetence seems appropriate for niche worrying.

    March 11, 2008

  • Marchpane is just an archaic word for marzipan; yes indeedy.

    (Perhaps obsolete French marcepain, from Italian marzapane, marzipan; see marzipan.) AHD

    Ringocandies must be an early Irish form of lifesavers...

    March 11, 2008

  • Well, it's a good thing I don't have to decide between marzipan and marchpane, two perfectly alsome words. I can have my marzipan and eat marchpane too.


    March 11, 2008

  • Now I'm worried about marchpane.

    March 11, 2008

  • Marchpane would be a great name for an upper class twit - in a Waugh novel for example.

    "Pennyfeather noticed the rotund figure of Marchpane ambling toward him, and uttered a silent malediction."

    March 11, 2008

  • "As was the fashion in still-life paintings of the day, the Flemish painter Clara Peeters arranged wafers and knotted biscuits around a central shallow marchpane* ornamented with rosemary sprigs in her Still Life with Confectionery (c. 1611)."

    "*During the Tudor period, marchpane evolved from its gingerbread-like medieval roots into something more like marzipan, with crushed almonds, sugar and rosewater as its main ingredients."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 82

    January 8, 2017