cav·i·ar also cav·i·are (kăvē-är′, kävē-)
The roe of a large fish, especially sturgeon, that is salted, seasoned, and eaten as a delicacy or relish.
[Alteration of earlier caviarie (probably from obsolete Italian caviari, pl. of caviaro) or from French caviare, both from Turkish havyar, from Persian khāviyār, probably from a Caspian Iranian dialect variant of Persian khāya-dār, egg-holding (as in māhī-i khāya-dār, egg-holding fish) : khāya, egg (from Middle Persian xāyag; see awi- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + -dār, holder; see ZAMINDAR.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.