from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A complimentary, bite-sized portion of food served before a meal or between courses in a restaurant.


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

[French : amuse, third person present indicative of amuser, to amuse (from Old French, to cause to muse; see amuse) + bouche, mouth (from Latin bucca, cheek).]


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  • And this, as some addicts will already know, is merely an amuse-bouche for the main course of another unfinished Hemingway effort, “The Garden of Eden,” at the end of which it seems that hair must be discarded altogether, and shaved heads become the sexual totem.

    Hemingway's Libidinous Feast 2009

  • The adrenaline fare comes mostly a la carte, but at Queenstown Rafting on Shotover Street, I noticed a three-course tasting menu for about $500: jet boating down the Shotover River—an amuse-bouche—followed by a starter of whitewater rafting and, for the main course, a 440-foot jump above a canyon, tethered to a rubber band.

    High-Flying Adventure Andy Isaacson 2011

  • There would always be an amuse-bouche or three; there would be a pre-dessert to flatter your palate in preparation for your actual dessert; instead of a sugar cube, finely spun sugar would arrive on a porcelain stirrer made by someone exquisite.

    El Bulli closes: Farewell parmesan frozen air... 2011

  • Press play below for your @KrisAllen amuse-bouche, then check back later this week for the entire interview feast.

    Kris Allen on Internet rumors: 'That stuff breaks you down as an artist and a songwriter' | 2009

  • Kushner: The way that you're describing it, to continue the metaphor, it sounds like you've got several courses of amuse-bouche.

    Daniel J. Kushner: Ecstatic Music Festival Interview #3: Gabriel Kahane Daniel J. Kushner 2011

  • One has to admire Hilary's ferocity, much like Muldoon in Jurassic Park really has to admire the escaped raptor's speed before it gobbles him as a pre-lunch amuse-bouche.

    Dragons' Den: Grace Dent's TV OD 2011

  • The mercurial Knicks may have reclaimed their swagger with back-to-back victories over Orlando and New Jersey—well, as much swagger as you can have when your record bobs at 37-38, and the elite of the Eastern Conference views you as nothing more than an amuse-bouche in the first round of the playoffs—but Cleveland lingers, mocking us all.

    Knicks Must Get Over the Cavaliers Jason Gay 2011

  • One, the amuse-bouche, ceviche of scallops and shrimp, with the leche de tigre served alongside in a tall shot glass, to wake the appetite.

    The Kitchen Daughter Jael McHenry 2011

  • Served as an amuse-bouche in a tumbler, they spike the appetite.

    Chilled Summer Soups Aleksandra Crapanzano 2011

  • Plan to linger a while at the table, since meals begin with a few delicate amuse-bouche and end with a true fanfare of heavenly desserts.

    Coasting High in Provence Lanie Goodman 2011


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  • An amuse-bouche (plural amuse-bouches) or amuse-gueule is a single, bite-sized hors d'oeuvre.


    July 4, 2015