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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.
Origin of madeleine
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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Examples from the Web for madeleine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I must say, as you do, my dear madeleine, that it is very singular.

    Luxury-Gluttony: Eugne Sue
  • Meanwhile you are fostering tastes in madeleine which are unsuited to her condition.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • "It will be a fine thing for Judith if she gains a friend like you, madeleine," interrupted Molly warmly.

  • But madeleine had few moments to spend in contemplation of the precious gift.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • "You have never been lost to me," answered madeleine involuntarily; but the words were hardly spoken when she repented them.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
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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