Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of tamale
Meaning of tamale by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Two tamales.


    Back-formation from plural tamales, from Spanish tamales, plural of tamal, from Nahuatl tamalli ( “wrapped” ) .


    tamale ( plural: tamales )

    1. Mexican dish of cornmeal dough shell filled with various ingredients ( e.g. chopped beef, pork, sweet filling ) then steamed in corn husks .

    Usage notes

    The Standard Spanish singular is tamal, and thus some proscribe tamale as an incorrect back-formation, preferring to use tamal as the English singular; note however that tamale exists in Spanish dialect. The similarity of tamale to the ancestral Nahuatl tamalli is not generally cited in support of the English usage of tamale .


    • tamal

    Derived terms


Explanation of tamale by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. corn and cornmeal dough stuffed with a meat mixture then wrapped in corn husks and steamed

    2. a city in northern Ghana

    Definition of tamale by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Tamale n. [Written also tamal, tomale.] [Amer. Sp. tamal, of Mex. origin.] A Mexican dish made of crushed corn ( cornmeal ) mixed with minced meat, seasoned with red pepper, dipped in oil, and steamed.