1. a female given name, form of Magdalene.


  1. a small fancy sponge cake

fem. proper name, from French Magdalene (q.v.). Cf. also Madeleine. fem. proper name, variation of Madeline. The kind of small, rich confection is attested from 1845, said in OED to be named for Madeleine Paulmier, 19c. French pastry cook; any use with a sense of “small thing that evokes powerful nostalgia” is due to Proust (1922).

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