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[pop-kawrn] /ˈpɒpˌkɔrn/
any of several varieties of corn whose kernels burst open and puff out when subjected to dry heat.
popped corn.
peanut (def 4c).
1810-20, Americanism; short for popped corn. See pop1, -ed2, corn1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for pop-corn


a variety of maize having hard pointed kernels that puff up when heated
the puffed edible kernels of this plant
Word Origin
C19: so called because of the noise the grains make when they swell up and burst on heating
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 pop-corn



1819, from pop (v.) + corn (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pop-corn


  1. Something trivial and insubstantial: Gimbel called the charges ''popcorn''
  2. Something easily done; breeze, piece of cake: As for Streep, she does what she is asked to do. But the role is popcorn (1973+)

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 pop-corn


a variety of corn (maize), the kernels of which, when exposed to heat or microwaves, are exploded into large fluffy masses. The corn used for popping may be any of about 25 different varieties of Zea mays; the two major types are rice popcorn, in which the grains are pointed at both base and apex, and pearl popcorn, in which the grains are rounded and compact. A popcorn kernel has an extremely hard hull and hard outer endosperm, and within there is a mass of moist, starchy, white endosperm. The moisture is optimally about 13.5 percent. When such kernels are heated to about 400 F (about 200 C), the moisture in the starch turns into steam and builds up pressure until the kernel explodes inside out into a white fluffy, irregular mass, about 20 to 40 times the original size

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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