1670s, "of or like sugar, having the qualities of sugar," from Medieval Latin saccharum "sugar," from Latin saccharon "sugar," from Greek sakkharon, from Pali sakkhara, from Sanskrit sarkara "gravel, grit" (see sugar). The metaphoric sense of "overly sweet" is recorded by 1841. For the sugar substitute, see saccharin. Related: Saccharinity.
updated on October 31, 2021