1. A vitreous, usually opaque, protective or decorative coating baked on metal, glass, or ceramic ware.
2. An object having such a coating, as in a piece of cloisonné.
3. A coating that dries to a hard glossy finish: nail enamel.
4. A paint that dries to a hard glossy finish.
5. Anatomy The hard, calcareous substance covering the exposed portion of a tooth.
tr.v. e·nam·eled, e·nam·el·ing, e·nam·els or e·nam·elled or e·nam·el·ling
1. To coat, inlay, or decorate with enamel.
2. To give a glossy or brilliant surface to.
3. To adorn with a brightly colored surface.
[From Middle English enamelen, to put on enamel, from Anglo-Norman enamailler : en-, on (from Old French; see EN-1) + amail, enamel (from Old French esmail, of Germanic origin; see mel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
e·namel·er, e·namel·ist n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.