a thick syrup produced during the refining of sugar or from sorghum, varying from light to dark brown in color.

1575–85; earlier molassos, molasso(e)s < Portuguese melaços, plural of melaço (< Late Latin mellācium half-boiled new wine, for *mellāceum, neuter of *mellāceus honeylike, equivalent to mell-, stem of mel honey + -āceus -aceous) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
molasses (məˈlæsɪz)
1.  the thick brown uncrystallized bitter syrup obtained from sugar during refining
2.  (US), (Canadian) Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): treacle a dark viscous syrup obtained during the refining of sugar
[C16: from Portuguese melaço, from Late Latin mellāceum must, from Latin mel honey]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1582, from Port. melaço, from L.L. mellaceum "new wine," properly the neut. of mellaceus "resembling honey," from L. mel (gen. mellis) "honey." Adopted in Eng. in plural form, but regarded as a singular noun.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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