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[mad-l-in, mad-l-eyn; French maduh-len] /ˈmæd l ɪn, ˌmæd lˈeɪn; French madəˈlɛn/
noun, plural madeleines
[mad-l-inz, mad-l-eynz; French maduh-len] /ˈmæd l ɪnz, ˌmæd lˈeɪnz; French madəˈlɛn/ (Show IPA).
French Cookery.
a small shell-shaped cake made of flour, eggs, sugar, and butter and baked in a mold.
something that triggers memories or nostalgia: in allusion to a nostalgic passage in Proust's Remembrance of Things Past.
1835-45; < French, earlier gâteau à la Madeleine, after the female given name; the attribution of the recipe to an 18th-century cook named Madeleine Pau(l)mier is unsubstantiated


[mad-l-in, -lahyn; French maduh-len] /ˈmæd l ɪn, -ˌlaɪn; French madəˈlɛn/
a female given name, form of Magdalene.
Also, Madelaine, Madelene
[mad-l-in] /ˈmæd l ɪn/ (Show IPA),
Madeline, Madelyn. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for madeleine


/ˈmædəlɪn; -ˌleɪn/
a small fancy sponge cake
Word Origin
C19: perhaps after Madeleine Paulmier, French pastry cook
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for madeleine


fem. proper name, variation of Madeline. The kind of small, rich confection is attested from 1845, said in OED to be named for Madeleine Paulmier, 19c. French pastry cook; any use with a sense of "small thing that evokes powerful nostalgia" is due to Proust (1922).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for madeleine


Paris church designed by Pierre-Alexandre Vignon in 1806. The Madeleine, in the form of a Roman temple surrounded by a Corinthian colonnade, reflects the taste for classical art and architecture that predominated in France during the Empire phase of the Neoclassical movement

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delicate, scallop-shaped French tea cake often served with fruit or sherbet. In its preparation, flour, eggs, and sugar are beaten with a large proportion of butter, incorporating as much air as possible; then grated lemon rind and vanilla extract, and sometimes rum, are added. After baking in the customary 12-shell tin, the pastry is served plain or dusted with confectioner's sugar.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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