from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A variety of corn (Zea mays var. everta), having hard kernels that burst to form white, irregularly shaped puffs when heated.
  • noun The edible popped kernels of this variety of corn.
  • noun A small piece, as of polystyrene, used in quantity to protect items during packaging and shipment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of several varieties of Indian corn suitable for “popping.”
  • noun Corn thus prepared; popped corn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun See pop corn under pop, n..

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A snack food made from corn kernels popped by dry heating.
  • noun knitting A kind of stitch similar to a bobble.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun corn having small ears and kernels that burst when exposed to dry heat
  • noun small kernels of corn exploded by heat


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Contraction of popped corn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From English popped (shortned) + corn


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  • Okay, word association time! What do you think of when you hear the word popcorn?

    A smell? A flavor? A sound? A color? A texture? A memory? A picture?

    September 11, 2007

  • Let's I think of that Colorado guy who has a horrible lung condition because he's been eating two bags of microwave popcorn every day for 10 years and breathing in diacetyl, the chemical that gives microwave popcorn its buttery flavor.

    Before I read that news article, I associated it with its aroma, movie theaters when I was a kid, and my favorite bar in the city (which had a popcorn machine).

    The news spoils everything. ;-)

    September 11, 2007

  • Faith Popcorn? Who reminds me of William Gibson's excellent book, Pattern Recognition.

    If Faith was really all that, she'd have divined that flash introduction pages to web sites were recognized as annoying and useless back in 2000.

    September 11, 2007

  • Nice John!

    May 14, 2008

  • Popcorn makes me think of being in my pj's, in the "way back" of the station wagon (seats down) with my brothers and pillows. My parents are in the front bench seat and we're at the drive-in on a summer night eating popcorn out of a paper bag. Yum!

    May 14, 2008

  • Wow! "Way back" evokes fond memories too, although we called it the "way far back" :-)

    May 14, 2008

  • I spent many hours in the way back as a child - playing animal cribbage and getting dizzy from exhaust fumes when the window was open. Good times.

    May 15, 2008

  • I always had to jockey for a second-row seat in the ol' station wagon to avoid motion sickness from riding backwards. :-(

    May 15, 2008

  • Oh, no - my family believed in fair turns and the like, so there was a regular rotation. Except for the littlest, who always got to ride up front. I swear, that child could puke on command.

    May 15, 2008

  • My parents tried that too. Regular rotations. But then the ol' carsick one had to throw off the whole routine....

    May 15, 2008

  • We had a Country Squire with fake wood panels on the sides. It had electric windows and seat belts! We took it over to Germany when we lived there and it looked like a bus compared to the small German cars! We made quite a scene!

    May 15, 2008

  • Haha! Love the image of the American Behemoth cruising tiny German streets. :-)

    May 16, 2008

  • Sing a song of pop corn

    When the snowstorms rage;

    Fifty little brown men

    Put into a cage.

    Shake them till they laugh and leap

    Crowding to the top;

    Watch them burst their little coats

    Pop! Pop! Pop!

    - Nancy Byrd Turner, 'A Pop Corn Song'.

    November 1, 2008

  • To answer uselessness's question, three years late... this is what I think of when I hear the word "popcorn".

    October 27, 2010