Definitions

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

  • n. A buffet meal featuring a varied number of dishes.
  • n. A varied collection: "a smorgasbord of fashionable paranormal beliefs” ( Martin Gardner).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A buffet.
  • n. a collection of various things

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

  • n. a collection containing a variety of sorts of things
  • n. an assortment of foods starting with herring or smoked eel or salmon etc with bread and butter; then cheeses and eggs and pickled vegetables and aspics; finally hot foods; served as a buffet meal

Etymologies

Swedish smörgåsbord : smörgås, bread and butter (smör, butter from Old Norse + Swedish dialectal gås, lump of butter from Old Norse gās, goose; see gosling) + bord, table (from Old Norse bordh).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Swedish smörgåsbord ("a buffet with many small dishes"), a compound of smörgås ("sandwich") and bord ("table"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word smorgasbord doesn't really do justice to this random assortment.

    The Guardian World News

  • Becca – smorgasbord is a great word and so very apt!

    Current Reads and New Books « Tales from the Reading Room

  • What a wonderful smorgasbord (that is a Swedish word).

    Clovis News Journal : News

  • To advertisers, it's a sign that under Hammer's watch, a network once known as a smorgasbord has become focused and confident.

    Bonnie Hammer’s Hit Factory

  • Today a smorgasbord is a term that you use for some highway cafeteria that serves you all-you-can-eat for a cheap price.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • I used to eat at a Scandinavian cafeteria in San Francisco that called itself a "smorgasbord" and advertised its reindeer meatballs over pasta as superior to the Italian meatballs at the U.S. Cafe next door.

    With Best Countries Like These…

  • If the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival is, as its organizers say, a "smorgasbord" overflowing with hundreds of entrees, think of New York's as three dozen plates of food for thought, served up to offset what appears to be a low-calorie fall from Hollywood.

    Around The World In 17 Days

  • You have a kind of smorgasbord, and depending on what time of life you're in, you choose the benefits which fit your lifestyle.

    Women In Engineering: Creating A Professional Workforce For The 21st Century

  • Our technical programmes in the schools were virtually eliminated by the new "smorgasbord" approach to education in which every student is able to choose every subject he may possibly want to learn: a little of this, a little of that, but nobody was to be streamed into any kind of technical education.

    Economic Strategy: the Myth of Provincial Impotence

  • Given the "smorgasbord" style of general education prevalent in the UNC system, this means that they are essentially taking electives for the first two years.

    Pope Center Articles

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