Share this entry
macaroni Line breaks: maca|roni
Pronunciation: /ˌmakəˈrəʊni/

Definition of macaroni in English:

noun (plural macaronies)

1 [mass noun] Pasta in the shape of narrow tubes.
Example sentences
  • The pastas include lasagne, spaghetti, tagliatelle, macaroni, tortellini and capellini, so you're not going to get much more Italian than that!
  • A French table is likely to have on it a cauldron of vegetable soup, complete with carrots and chard and tiny pasta shapes such as macaroni.
  • Drain the pasta or macaroni, then return it to the saucepan.
2An 18th-century British dandy who imitated continental fashions.
Example sentences
  • I think this is manifested in some ways in the idea of the macaroni and, later, the dandy.


Late 17th century: from Italian maccaroni (now usually spelled maccheroni), plural of maccarone, from late Greek makaria 'food made from barley'.

  • When ‘Yankee Doodle went to town a-riding on a pony’ and ‘stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni’, he was not confusing his headgear with pasta. He was presenting himself as a dandy — completely unconvincingly, reflecting the English view of Americans, then still under British colonial rule, as lacking sophistication. In 18th-century Britain the macaronis were young men who had travelled abroad and exaggeratedly imitated continental fashions. The pasta dish pre-dated this trend. Its name also survives in macaroon (late 16th century), which came through French, changing its recipe on the way. Italian macaroni goes back to Greek makaria ‘food made from barley’.

Words that rhyme with macaroni

abalone, Albinoni, Annigoni, Antonioni, baloney, Bodoni, boloney, bony, calzone, cannelloni, canzone, cicerone, coney, conversazione, coronae, crony, Gaborone, Giorgione, Manzoni, Marconi, mascarpone, minestrone, Moroni, Mulroney, padrone, panettoni, pepperoni, phoney, polony, pony, rigatoni, Shoshone, Sloaney, stony, Toni, tony, zabaglione
Definition of macaroni in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources