noun, plural mad·e·leines [mad-l-inz, mad-l-eynz; French maduh–len] /ˈmæd l ɪnz, ˌmæd lˈeɪnz; French madəˈlɛn/. French Cookery.
- a small shell-shaped cake made of flour, eggs, sugar, and butter and baked in a mold.
- something that triggers memories or nostalgia: in allusion to a nostalgic passage in Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.
- a female given name, form of Magdalene.
- a small fancy sponge cake
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).