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

  • noun Pasta in long, often thick strands.
  • noun Electricity A slender tube of insulating material that covers bare wire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A kind of Italian macaroni made in the form of cords smaller than ordinary macaroni, but several times larger than the threads of vermicelli.

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

  • noun A variety or macaroni made in tubes of small diameter.

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

  • noun A type of pasta made in the shape of long thin strings.
  • noun A dish that has spaghetti as a main part of it, such as spaghetti bolognese.
  • noun Informally, any type of pasta.
  • noun Electrical insulating tubing.
  • noun Anything tangled or confusing.
  • noun A short form of spaghetti code.

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

  • noun spaghetti served with a tomato sauce
  • noun pasta in the form of long strings


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

[Italian, pl. diminutive of spago, cord, from Late Latin spācum, of unknown origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Italian (see Italian etymology below)


  • In English, the term spaghetti evokes a particular shape of long noodle.

    Do Bianchi

  • This kind of falls in the center of what we see, some of those what we call the spaghetti models, the computer-generated models.

    CNN Transcript Sep 1, 2008

  • In fact, take a look at this, just very quickly, this is what we refer to as our spaghetti model.

    CNN Transcript Aug 17, 2008

  • This is what we call the spaghetti model charts, and each individual line here is a different computer model out putting a forecast for you, and see how they all line up.

    CNN Transcript Jul 20, 2008

  • Computer models, what we call spaghetti models, could move across the northern coast of Cuba.

    CNN Transcript Sep 6, 2008

  • This is what we referred to as our spaghetti models.

    CNN Transcript Aug 15, 2008

  • We've laid down what we call our spaghetti map where all our different computer models.

    CNN Transcript Aug 18, 2007

  • These are what we call spaghetti model forecasts, just because they look like a bunch of strings of spaghetti, don't they?

    CNN Transcript Aug 18, 2007

  • SCHNEIDER: Mike, we're showing right now what we call our spaghetti map.

    CNN Transcript Aug 26, 2006

  • He then turned on his tape, listening to Beethoven's joyous Seventh, but remembering how Claggett had objected to what he called spaghetti music, he found it distasteful.



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  • How many spaghettos does it take to make a spaghetti?

    April 21, 2008

  • Why, two of course!

    April 21, 2008

  • How do you eat spaghetti? I'm told that the "proper" way is by using a spoon to keep the noodles in place as you wind them around the fork like a spool of thread. I usually cut all the noodles into bite-size pieces I can eat easily with a fork, but I'm told this makes me uncivilized, oafish, and uncouth. I'm also told Asian folks typically eat noodles (maybe not spaghetti) by dribbling them from their mouths and slurping them all up, which may be acceptable in certain cultures but strikes me as the most barbaric of all.

    Friends, I need a definitive answer to this very important question! What is the right way?

    December 2, 2009

  • First rule: No cutting. Ever!

    The wind-y method (with or without spoon) has always been de rigueur in my neck of the woods.

    December 2, 2009

  • Hear Hear!

    I use the 'proper' way, but without the spoon. I also had a friend who used the proper way, but she would pull her fork out of the spaghetti, leaving a little twirl on her spoon which she ate from.

    December 2, 2009

  • Okay... so, uh... what's wrong with cutting, exactly?

    December 2, 2009

  • I'm not sure about rt, but I consider it an insult to the spaghetti, and I'm sure the Italians can say something about it too. I was always under the impression if the dangling strands from the twirl around your fork are too long, you cut them with your teeth.

    I'm interested in other ways though.

    Does anyone actually have spaghetti with meatballs?

    December 2, 2009

  • If you want to eat spaghetti the way puritan purist Italians do, neither spoons nor cutting are allowed(*).

    But there's no reason why everyone should eat spaghetti the way we do.

    (*)This is only one of the many rules of the tablecloth (**). Should I create a list?

    (**) This has nothing to do with rule of the tablecloth.

    December 2, 2009

  • I was hoping you, a real live Italian, might chime in! So do you just twirl the noodles around your fork without a spoon? If they dangle out of your mouth and require slurping, is that considered bad form?

    December 2, 2009

  • They don't dangle out of your mouth if your twirling technique is good enough :)

    Slurping is accepted as long as it is silent and the ectopic spaghetti portion is reasonably short. Otherwise you un-twirl your forkful and start over.

    December 2, 2009