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treacle

[tree-kuh l] /ˈtri kəl/
noun
1.
contrived or unrestrained sentimentality:
a movie plot of the most shameless treacle.
2.
British.
  1. molasses, especially that which is drained from the vats used in sugar refining.
  2. Also called golden syrup. a mild mixture of molasses, corn syrup, etc., used in cooking or as a table syrup.
3.
Pharmacology Obsolete. any of various medicinal compounds, formerly used as antidotes for poison.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English, variant of triacle antidote < Middle French, Old French < Latin thēriaca < Greek thēriakḗ, noun use of feminine of thēriakós concerning wild beasts, equivalent to thērí(on) wild beast (thḗr wild beast + -ion diminutive suffix) + -akos -ac
Related forms
treacly
[tree-klee] /ˈtri kli/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for treacle
  • His treacle-brown hair, cut short, is thinning slightly.
  • Cap the meal with a sublime treacle pudding and you could almost excuse the kitchen's blunders.
British Dictionary definitions for treacle

treacle

/ˈtriːkəl/
noun
1.
(Brit) Also called black treacle. a dark viscous syrup obtained during the refining of sugar
2.
(Brit) another name for golden syrup
3.
anything sweet and cloying
4.
(obsolete) any of various preparations used as an antidote to poisoning
Derived Forms
treacly, adjective
treacliness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French triacle, from Latin thēriaca antidote to poison
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 treacle
n.

mid-14c., "medicinal compound, antidote for poison," from Old French triacle "antidote" (c.1200), from Vulgar Latin *triacula, from Latin theriaca, from Greek theriake (antidotos) "antidote for poisonous wild animals," from fem. of theriakos "of a wild animal," from therion "wild animal," diminutive of ther (genitive theros) "wild animal," from PIE root *ghwer- "wild" (see fierce).

Sense of "molasses" is first recorded 1690s; that of "anything too sweet or sentimental" is from 1771. The connection may be from the use of molasses as a laxative, or its use to disguise the bad taste of medicine.

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

molasses

syrup remaining after sugar is crystallized out of cane or beet juice. Molasses syrup is separated from sugar crystals by means of centrifuging. Molasses is separated from the sugar crystals repeatedly during the manufacturing process, resulting in several different grades of molasses; that obtained from the first extraction contains more sugar, tastes sweeter, and is lighter in colour than molasses obtained at the second or third extractions. The third and final extraction yields blackstrap molasses, a heavy, viscous, dark-coloured product that has had all the sugar removed from it that can be separated practically by ordinary crystallization.

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