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

  • noun A hard confection that is made by cooling a concentrated sugar syrup into large clear crystals around a piece of string or a stick.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Pure sugar in cohering crystals of considerable size and hardness. Also called candy-sugar, and sometimes Gibraltar rock.

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

  • noun US a confectionary made by crystallizing sugar around a string

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

  • noun hard bright-colored stick candy (typically flavored with peppermint)
  • noun sugar in large hard clear crystals on a string


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  • Rock candy (also called rock sugar) is a type of confectionery composed of relatively large sugar crystals. Homemade rock candy is commonly formed by allowing a supersaturated solution of sugar and water to crystallize onto a string or some other surface suitable for crystal nucleation. Heating the water before adding the sugar allows more sugar to dissolve and thus produces larger crystals. Crystals form after several days. Food coloring is often added to the mixture to produce colored candy.


    Excerpt from Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry McClintock

    On a summer day in the month of May a burly bum came hiking

    Down a shady lane through the sugar cane, he was looking for his liking.

    As he roamed along he sang a song of the land of milk and honey

    Where a bum can stay for many a day, and he won't need any money

    Oh the buzzin' of the bees in the cigarette trees near the soda water fountain,

    At the lemonade springs where the bluebird sings on the Big Rock Candy Mountains

    February 8, 2008