I've heard a couple of pronunciations "macra may", "ma craym", "ma craym".

So, which is the correct one?

  • 4
    Every dictionary I checked gives the same three-syllable pronunciation. Do you have some reason to believe the dictionaries are incorrect? If so, please elaborate; otherwise, this is a general reference question.
    – Marthaª
    May 10, 2011 at 20:10
  • Different dictionaries give different options. But you do need to reference several. Dec 26, 2019 at 11:46

3 Answers 3


It comes from the French (well, from Turkish through French), and is quite often spelt with an accent on the final e: macramé. Like most such French words ending in , it has two standard pronunciations:

  • in the US, a pronunciation closer to the French: -meɪ, which rhymes with May, play, etc; it is stressed on the first and third syllables.
  • in the UK, it is pronounced -mi, with the same i sound as silly; the stress goes on the second syllable.

Other words of French origin with similar ending include résumé, café and sauté.

  • 1
    In the UK the last vowel is either the same as the US (rhymes with play), or it's the y in silly (rather than the i, which is different :)
    – psmears
    May 10, 2011 at 21:34

The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English has two pronunciations:

  • BrE: /məˈkrɑ:mi/
  • AmE: /ˌmækrəˈmeɪ/

As the pronunciation seems to vary from source to source, I’d recommend sticking to what is the closest to French.

  • I'm thinking that the dominant American pronunciation is /ˈmækrəˌmeɪ/ with the stresses swapped compared with Longman. That is, the first syllable has primary stress and the third syllable secondary stress, not the other way around. Or at least, not anymore.
    – tchrist
    Dec 27, 2019 at 13:54

From Merriam-Webster: \ˈma-krə-ˌmā\

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