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[mahrsh-mel-oh, -mal-oh] /ˈmɑrʃˌmɛl oʊ, -ˌmæl oʊ/
a sweetened paste or confection made from the mucilaginous root of the marsh mallow.
a similar confection, usually soft and spongy, made from gum arabic or gelatin, sugar, corn syrup, and flavoring.
1905-10; see marsh mallow
Related forms
marshmallowy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for marshmallows
  • He told them that they could eat the marshmallow at once, or wait until he came back and get two marshmallows.
  • Remove to back of range and add marshmallows cut in pieces.
  • Okay, it's a little rougher than roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories.
  • Melt chocolate in a pot or a microwave and have students dip marshmallows into the chocolate.
  • And if your kids haven't crashed, toast marshmallows together under the stars.
  • Spread the peanut butter on the tortillas, then add in the carob chips and marshmallows.
  • Eating ice cream at the marina, building sandcastles, and roasting marshmallows over crackling logs.
  • Carolyn was asked to sit down in the chair and pick a treat from a tray of marshmallows, cookies, and pretzel sticks.
  • The ambrosia salad, replete with marshmallows and mandarin oranges, was surprisingly delicate.
  • Sometimes the intelligent thing to do is not to delay-marshmallows spoil, parents forget, prices go up.
British Dictionary definitions for marshmallows


a sweet of a spongy texture containing gum arabic or gelatine, sugar, etc
a sweetened paste or confection made from the root of the marsh mallow
Derived Forms
marshmallowy, adjective
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 marshmallows



Old English mersc-mealwe "kind of mallow plant (Althea officinalis) which grows near salt marshes;" from marsh + mallow. The confection (so called from 1877) originally was made from paste from the roots of this plant. The Greek word for the plant, althaea, is from althein "to heal."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for marshmallows


  1. Custard pie, esp as used in comic stage and movie scenes
  2. An important person; big shot: Darryl Zanuck, chief magoo of the studio (1940s+ Show business)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for marshmallows


aerated candy that originated as a versatile medicinal syrup and ointment; it was made from root sap of the marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis), sugar, and egg white.

Learn more about marshmallow with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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