‘Carmel' vs 'Caramel': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on December 29, 2022

Wondering whether to spell it ‘Carmel’ or ‘caramel’? We’ve got you covered. We’ll discuss that in this article, plus teach you how to use the correct one in a sentence.

The short answer is that ‘caramel’ is the only correct way to spell the word when referring to candy of a light brown color. ‘Carmel’ is a geographic location and must always be capitalized when used, so people don’t think it’s a misspelling of ‘caramel.’

‘Carmel’ vs. ‘Caramel’ – Which is Correct?

As we just learned, both words are correct to use. But if you’re talking about candy, you’ll want to use ‘caramel.’ ‘Caramel’ is a geographic location.

‘Carmel’ vs. ‘Caramel’: What’s the Difference?

As we just discussed, the difference between the two words is that ‘Carmel’ is a geographic location, whereas ‘caramel’ refers to light-brown colored candies. ‘Carmel’ must always be capitalized so that people don’t think it’s a misspelling of the word ‘caramel.’

Definition and Meaning of ‘Caramel’

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘caramel’ is: “a usually firm to brittle, golden-brown to a dark brown substance that has a sweet, nutty, buttery, or bitter flavor, is obtained by heating sugar at high temperature, and used especially as a coloring and flavoring agent” and “a firm, chewy, usually caramel-flavored candy made with sugar, cream, corn syrup, and butter.”

A Brief History

The first known use of the word was in 1702, and it meant the same thing as the first definition provided above. It comes from both the French and Spanish word Carmelo, from the Portuguese icicle, caramel, and from the late Latin calamellus (which means small reed).

Definition and Meaning of ‘Carmel’

The Merriam-Webster definition of  'Carmel' is: “or in full Carmel-by-the-Sea city in western California south of Monterey Bay population 3722” and “city in central Indiana north of Indianapolis population 79,191.”

How to Use ‘Caramel’ in a Sentence

Now that we know what both words mean, we can look at how to use them both in a sentence.

  • My Aunt Will used to give us caramels every Sunday in church.
  • We love getting caramel candies instead of chocolate for Valentine’s Day every year.
  • I don’t like caramel candies. They get stuck to my teeth like Starbursts.
  • My mom gets these specialty caramel candies from overseas – we love them!
  • Do you really think giving out caramel-covered popcorn for Christmas is a bonus?
  • Where are all my caramel candies? I know I just bought a brand-new pack.

How to Use ‘Carmel’ in a Sentence 

Now let’s see how to use ‘Carmel’ in a sentence.

  • I’m going to Carmel this weekend with a few of my co-workers.
  • I’ve never been to Carmel or even to California.
  • Our trip to Carmel will officially begin tomorrow at noon.
  • I’m not a fan of Carmel, Indiana. It’s not really my kind of town.
  • There’s a Carmel in California and in Indiana.
  • The last time I was in Carmel, I saw my Uncle Jimmy.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘Carmel’ vs. ‘Caramel’

Now that you know what both words mean and how to use them correctly in a sentence, you can start practicing forming your own sentences. Use the above examples as a guide.

If you get stuck on something, don’t be afraid to pop back over for a refresher. We’ve also got a ton of other content on confusing words. Go check it out.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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