Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small piece of food.
  • n. A tasty delicacy; a tidbit.
  • n. A small amount; a piece: a morsel of gossip.
  • n. One that is delightful and extremely pleasing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small fragment or share of something, commonly applied to food.
  • n. A very small amount.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A little bite or bit of food.
  • n. A small quantity; a little piece; a fragment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bite; a mouthful; a small piece of food; a small meal.
  • n. A small quantity of anything considered as parceled out, often of something taken or indulged in; a fragment; a little piece.
  • n. A person: used jestingly or in contempt.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small quantity of anything
  • n. a small amount of solid food; a mouthful

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, diminutive of mors, bite, from Latin morsum, from neuter past participle of mordēre, to bite; see mer- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English morsel, from Old French morsel, from Medieval Latin morsellum ("a bit, a little piece"), diminutive. of Latin morsum ("a bit"), neuter of morsus, past participle of mordere ("to bite"). Compare French morceau. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • II. i.286 (46,8) [This ancient morsel] For _morsel_ Dr. Warburton reads _ancient moral_, very elegantly and judiciously, yet I know not whether the author might not write _morsel_, as we say a _piece of a man_.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • The flame from the tiny morsel is enough to kick-start the rest of my sluggish system, and when the annual flu strikes me down (as it always does!) a good dose of it chopped into a cup of green tea helps chase away the edge of nausea.

    Warming the Inside

  • What about the hunter on safari whose handlers dress and skin the game, and take every precious morsel from the gut pile that most of use leave for the canines, buzzards and maggots?

    The Meat Not Eaten

  • Of particular interest was this rather juicy morsel from the SPY column ...

    Cornerstone About to Become Tombstone?

  • ‘What amount of small change, Missis,’ he said, with an abstracted air, after a little meditation, ‘might you call a morsel of money?’

    Our Mutual Friend

  • Once a morsel is enjoyed I never think of it again.

    The Breakfast of the Birds, and Other Stories

  • A particularly violent gesture loosened the morsel from the fork and it flew over the table, hitting Mr. Sjollema on the nose.

    A Day on Skates: The Story of a Dutch Picnic

  • 'What amount of small change, Missis,' he said, with an abstracted air, after a little meditation, 'might you call a morsel of money?'

    Our Mutual Friend

  • [37] after I had corrected the page & left town poor Cottle whose heart overflows with the milk of human kindness, read it over; & he was as little able to bear the picture of the husband, as he would have been to hide a morsel from the hungry. so suo periculo [38] — he alterd it to “each man conceals” & spoilt the climax.

    Letter 149

  • i love the big huge look of seafood outside greece - i like the taste of greek seafood, but it always seems to be served in morsel size pieces ...

    Recipes: Steamed Alaska King Crab & Spinach with Garlic and Preserved Lemon

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