Definition of carrageen in US English:


(also carragheen, carrageen moss)


  • An edible red shoreline seaweed with flattened branching fronds, found in both Eurasia and North America and used to produce carrageenan.

    Chondrus crispus, phylum Rhodophyta

    Also called Irish moss
    • ‘The smell of baking from the gingerbread, scones, sponges and tarts mingled with the natural aroma of the dillisk, carrageen, plants, goat's cheese and vegetables.’
    • ‘A traditional stabilizer used to be arrowroot, but now agar-agar, carrageen, starches, gelatin, or even pectin are common natural-based stabilizers.’
    • ‘We have had another go at marbling: this time we used carrageen moss, which smells like the shore at low tide, and is fairly icky, but works.’
    • ‘I know how to eat everything you can gather on its rocky coast and bone-white beaches: razor shells, cockles, mussels, whelks, carrageen seaweed, winkles, crabs (velvet and red), conger eel, mackerel.’
    • ‘Some old local British recipes make use of carrageen moss.’


Early 19th century: from Irish carraigín.