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[poh-len-tuh] /poʊˈlɛn tə/
(especially in Italian cooking) a thick mush of cornmeal.
Origin of polenta
1555-65; < Italian < Latin: hulled and crushed grain, especially barley Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for polenta
  • Mound polenta on dinner plates or in shallow bowls and ladle vegetable ragout over polenta.
  • Serve the ribs with creamy mashed potatoes or polenta and crusty bread.
  • Ratatouille makes a great main dish when served over pasta, grilled artisan-style bread, or polenta.
  • The sauce made from the drippings begs for polenta or potatoes.
  • Stuff fresh poblano chiles with corn, jalapeño, and jack cheese polenta.
  • Vary the forms of cornmeal, from stone-ground to polenta, for a surprising range of flavors and textures.
  • We bought three things: organic stoneground wheat flour, organic stoneground wheat pastry flour, and corn polenta.
  • He grew up to become a chef who thinks nothing of serving banana polenta.
  • Cooking the polenta in the oven rather than on the stove top makes this dish almost hands-free.
  • First he and his parents and siblings would take turns rubbing their polenta on the fish.
British Dictionary definitions for polenta


a thick porridge made in Italy, usually from maize
Word Origin
C16: via Italian from Latin: pearl barley, perhaps from Greek palē pollen
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 polenta

Old English polente, from Latin pollenta, polenta, literally "peeled barley," related to pollen "fine flour," from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (1) "flour; dust" (see pollen). Later reborrowed from Italian polenta, from the Latin word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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