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." A candy-pull (1865) was a gathering of young people for making (by pulling into the right consistency) and eating molasses candy.
"preserve or encrust with sugar," 1530s, from candy (n.). Related: Candied; candying.
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