"uncrystallized syrup produced in the manufacture of sugar," 1580s, from Portuguese melaço, from Late Latin mellaceum "new wine," properly neuter of mellaceus "resembling honey," from Latin mel (genitive mellis) "honey" (from PIE root *melit- "honey"). Adopted in English in plural form and generally remaining so, but regarded as a singular noun.
Sense of "molasses" is first recorded 1690s (the connection may be from the use of molasses as a laxative, or its use to disguise the bad taste of medicine); that of "anything too sweet or sentimental" is from 1771. Related: Treacly.
"washing, purification," 1610s, from Late Latin elutionem (nominative elutio) "a washing out," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin eluere "to wash out, wash off, clean," from ex "out" (see ex-) + luere "to wash" (from PIE root *leue- "to wash"). Especially in reference to a process of obtaining sugar from molasses.
also pandoulde, etc., "pudding of bread and apples baked together," usually cooked with molasses," 1846, American English colloquial, of uncertain origin. It appears as the name of a character in a temperance story from 1839, and pandoodle is the name of some sort of dish available on a sailing ship in 1775.
Mexican dish made with a fried tortilla rolled around a filling and served with chili sauce, 1876, American English, from Mexican Spanish enchilada, fem. past participle of enchilar "season with chili," from en- "in" + chile "chili" (see chili).
You never ate enchilada, did you? I hope you never will. An enchilada looks not unlike an ordinary flannel cake rolled on itself and covered with molasses. The ingredients which go to make it up are pepper, lye, hominy, pepper, onions chopped fine, pepper, grated cheese, and pepper. [The Health Reformer, December 1876]
late 13c., "crystallized sugar," from Old French çucre candi "sugar candy," ultimately from Arabic qandi, from Persian qand "cane sugar," probably from Sanskrit khanda "piece (of sugar)," perhaps from Dravidian (compare Tamil kantu "candy," kattu "to harden, condense").
The sense gradually broadened (especially in U.S.) to mean by late 19c. "any confection having sugar as its basis." In Britain these are sweets, and candy tends to be restricted to sweets made only from boiled sugar and striped in bright colors. A candy-pull (1865) was a gathering of young people for making (by pulling into the right consistency) and eating molasses candy.