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marzipan

[mahr-zuh-pan] /ˈmɑr zəˌpæn/
noun
1.
a confection made of almonds reduced to a paste with sugar and often molded into various forms, usually diminutive fruits and vegetables.
Also called marchpane.
Origin
1535-1545
1535-45; < German < Italian marzapane. See marchpane
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for marzipan
  • At the adjacent table, peruse the dessert selection, with marzipan and expensive herbs and spices.
  • Estonians have coveted intricate, hand-painted marzipan candy figures for more than five centuries.
  • My favorite treat from this place is a layered gingerbread cake with marzipan on top, the whole thing covered in dark chocolate.
  • Candy molders and marzipan shapers form sweets into fancy shapes by hand.
  • Almonds are mainly consumed as a snack, but are also used to make marzipan as well as almond butter and paste.
  • US imports are mainly used for low-priced nougat or marzipan.
  • The best dessert is that local favorite, marzipan, here served as a tart with almond biscuits.
British Dictionary definitions for marzipan

marzipan

/ˈmɑːzɪˌpæn/
noun
1.
a paste made from ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites, used to coat fruit cakes or moulded into sweets Also called (esp formerly) marchpane
modifier
2.
(informal) of or relating to the stratum of middle managers in a financial institution or other business: marzipan layer job losses
Word Origin
C19: via German from Italian marzapane. See marchpane
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 marzipan
n.

1901 (in modern use; earlier march payne, late 15c., from French or Dutch), from German Marzipan, from Italian marzapane "candy box," from Medieval Latin matapanus "small box," earlier, "coin bearing image of seated Christ" (altered in Italian by folk etymology as though from Latin Marci panis "bread of Mark"), of uncertain origin. One suggestion is that this is from Arabic mawthaban "king who sits still." Nobody seems to quite accept this, but nobody has a better idea. The Medieval Latin word also is the source of Spanish marzapan, French massepain.

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

a malleable confection of crushed almonds or almond paste, sugar, and whites of eggs. Soft marzipan is used as a filling in a variety of pastries and candies; that of firmer consistency is traditionally modeled into fanciful shapes, such as miniature fruits, vegetables, and sea creatures, and coloured realistically.

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