Definition of molasses in English:



mass noun
  • 1Thick, dark brown juice obtained from raw sugar during the refining process.

    • ‘MSG is a powdered form of glutamate made by fermenting molasses from sugar cane and beets.’
    • ‘Nowadays it is usually manufactured from wheat gluten or beet molasses by a fermentation process devised in the 1950s.’
    • ‘They developed a much simpler and cheaper process using fermented molasses or wheat - eventually manufacturers realised that almost any protein can be broken down to produce it.’
    • ‘Rum is made by fermenting either cane juice or molasses mixed with water, and then distilling the resulting low-alcohol wine.’
    • ‘Sugar beet molasses, a processing byproduct, is used for making yeast, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.’
    1. 1.1North American Syrup used in baking and to pour over food.
      • ‘Add the molasses, corn oil, and maple syrup and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir to combine.’
      • ‘The food was plain and the menus monotonous, and it took time to get used to the ever-present tea, heavily sweetened with molasses and poured from large steel drums.’
      • ‘Whether homemade bread with molasses and sugar, or fatback bacon and scrambled eggs, we always had something to fill our demanding bellies.’
      • ‘Choose whole-grain flakes, nuggets or biscuits, with healthier, natural sweeteners like honey, molasses or brown rice syrup.’
      • ‘Don't use anything but white sugar; never use molasses, honey, sugar substitutes, powdered, or brown sugar.’


Mid 16th century: from Portuguese melaço, from late Latin mellacium ‘must’, based on mel ‘honey’.