molasses

EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

 
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Cane juice being boiled to produce molasses

From Portuguese melaços or Spanish melazos, from Late Latin mellacium (must, honey-sweet thing), from mel (honey) + -āceus (-aceous) + -ium, q.v. Some alternate forms derived or influenced by Spanish melaza and French mélasse, conjectured to derive from unattested Late Latin mellacea, from mel + -ācea.

Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

molasses (usually uncountable, singular molass)

  1. A thick, sweet syrup drained from sugarcane, especially (Canada, US) the still thicker and sweeter syrup produced by boiling down raw molasses.
    • 1907 February 2, The Chronicle, Adelaide, page 50, column 2:
      Well, we had our breakfast of ship's bread and molasses, washed down with cannikins of something liquid - but not lovely.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose. And the queerer the cure for those ailings the bigger the attraction. A place like the Right Livers' Rest was bound to draw freaks, same as molasses draws flies.
  2. (US) Any similarly thick and sweet syrup produced by boiling down fruit juices, tree saps, etc., especially concentrated maple syrup.
    • 1777 Sept. 13, Manessah Cutler, Journal, s.v.:
      Boiled some cornstalk juice into molasses.
  3. (figuratively) Anything considered figuratively sweet, especially sweet words.
    • 1925, Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy, Vol. I, p. 127:
      ‘You're the cutest thing here,’ whispered Clyde, hugging her fondly.
      ‘Gee, but you can pour on the molasses, kid, when you want to,’ she called out loud.
    • 1972 Nov. 26, New York Times Book Review, p. 1:
      ...the mournful molasses of his prose...
    He really poured on the molasses, charming his audience and changing more than a few votes.
  4. (Scotland, obsolete) plural of molass: whiskey made from molasses.
  5. (Scotland, rare, obsolete) Synonym of molass: whiskey made from molasses.
Usage notesEdit

Likely adopted in plural form because of its origin in pieces left over from sugar processing, although now usually construed as a singular or uncountable liquid except in some southern and southern-influenced dialects of American English.

SynonymsEdit
HyponymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

molasses

  1. (obsolete) Third-person singular simple present indicative form of molass: becomes drunk from molass.

Etymology 2Edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

molasses

  1. (geology) plural of molasse

ReferencesEdit