Definition of macaronic in English:



  • Denoting language, especially burlesque verse, containing words or inflections from one language introduced into the context of another.

    • ‘Mark Wendland's simple scenery works tidily, and Gabriel Berry's blend of Shakespearean and modern costumes has a macaronic charm.’
    • ‘Language issues focus on the return of phonetics, purged from Soviet Ukrainian orthography by Russification, and on the macaronic Russo / Ukrainian surzhyk.’
    • ‘Humanism is often opposed to medieval scholasticism and macaronic language.’
    • ‘An illustration to the 16th-century macaronic poem ‘Baldus’ shows the Muses eating gnocchi the size of northern dumplings; but this may be a joke.’
    • ‘Although written primarily in English, the play is trilingually macaronic: in English, Latin, and Greek.’
    • ‘The text could be in English, Latin, or a macaronic mixture of several languages.’
    • ‘The war is everywhere and real, our terrors threatening to perfect us, the technologies of our desire extending into networks too complex for anything but unhinged and macaronic fiction even to hint at.’


  • Macaronic verse, especially that which mixes the vernacular with Latin.

    • ‘The ‘tree’ or evolutionary model of literary history, allows créolité literature to be placed in a continuum stretching back to the vernacularization of Latin literature; to Renaissance macaronics, and Rabelaisian billingsgate.’
    • ‘ALMOST AS DEAR as puns to Merrill's technique are macaronics, comic or pathetic effects achieved by colliding languages and bad translations: ‘'Eh, Jimmy, qui sont ces deux strange men?’’


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘characteristic of a jumble or medley’): from modern Latin macaronicus, from obsolete Italian macaronico, a humorous formation from macaroni (see macaroni).