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n. pl. bains-ma·rie (băn′mə-rē′)
A large pan containing hot water in which smaller pans may be set to heat materials slowly or to keep them warm, as in cooking or chemistry.
[French, from Medieval Latin balneum Mariae, bath of Maria, probably after Maria Prophetissa, an early alchemist who perhaps lived in Egypt between the first and third centuries ad.]
n, pl bains-marie (bɛ̃mari)
(Cookery) a vessel for holding hot water, in which sauces and other dishes are gently cooked or kept warm
[C19: from French, from Medieval Latin balneum Mariae, literally: bath of Mary, inaccurate translation of Medieval Greek kaminos Marios, literally: furnace of Miriam, alleged author of a treatise on alchemy]
A form of poaching in which food is placed in a container which is in turn placed into another container (the bain-marie) half full with heated water.