Definitions

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

  • n. Hinduism Religious austerity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Variety of Spanish small food items or snacks originally served with sherry.
  • n. Small food items generally.

Etymologies

Sanskrit tapaḥ, tapas-, heat, austerity.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish tapas, plural of tapa, with original sense of “top”. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word tapas comes from the Spanish verb "tapar" to cover and some say tapas came about by utility: to keep flies from falling into the fruity wine.

    debout - French Word-A-Day

  • The word tapas is Spanish meaning snacks, but Stella Blu features American dishes inspired by a variety of big city neighborhoods famous for their food - from Little Italy to Chinatown.

    Nashuatelegraph.com local, state, business and sports news

  • The word tapas comes from the Spanish verb "tapar" (to cover) and some say tapas came about by utility: to keep flies from falling into the fruity wine.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • Gandarias is, first and foremost, a pintxo bar -- that's what they call tapas in Basque country -- with the best little appetizers you'll ever have: the freshest, most delicious local ingredients placed lovingly on a small slice of baguette, â ‚ ¬1.50 apiece. (â ‚ ¬2.25 for the cooked-to-order foie gras, which I highly recommend.)

    Felix Salmon - All posts

  • So tapas is was, then a wee beer and a few phone calls later we ended up in Chaplins, a nice little laid-back place with some cool sounds on the stereo and some even cooler folks to chat with -- mainly comics guys, as I recall, one of them over from Germany.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • No, I don't like the word tapas because it's always used wrong.

    Archive 2006-01-01

  • Indeed, it's wonderful to see cicchetti - Venice's answer to the ever growing roster of world "tapas" - making an appearance in this low key Soho setting and being served by such friendly and competent staff.

    Londonist

  • Dante, your "tapas"-like $5 plates were incredible.

    Recent Reviews Near San Francisco, CA

  • Of course, between meals you can indulge in tempting 'tapas' -- a healthy snack with its origin in the southerly region of Andalucia.

    Daily News & Analysis

  • “On the house,” the hot waitress said, appearing with a bottle of vodka and some glasses—and two dudes carrying trays of tapas, which is what people called snack food here in La-La land.

    Hot Mess

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