from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A light, spongy, very sweet confection made of corn syrup, gelatin, sugar, and starch and dusted with powdered sugar.
- n. A confection of sweetened paste, formerly made from the root of the marshmallow plant.
- n. Botany A perennial plant (Althaea officinalis) native to Europe and naturalized in marshes of eastern North America, having showy pink flowers and a mucilaginous root occasionally used as a demulcent and in confectionery.
- n. Slang A timid, cowardly, or ineffective person.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Someone who is soft and benign.
Old English merscmealwe, corresponding to marsh + mallow. (Wiktionary)