Definitions

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

  • n. A shop that sells cooked or prepared foods ready for serving.
  • n. Ready-to-serve foods such as cheeses, cold cooked meats, and salads.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A shop that sells cooked or prepared foods ready for serving.
  • n. Delicacies; exotic or expensive foods.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. Relishes for the table; dainties; delicacies.
  • n.pl. ready-to-eat foods, such as cold cuts, cooked meats, and prepared salads.
  • n.pl. a store or section of a store where delicatessen{2} is sold.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Delicacies; delicate or dainty articles of food, implying, in German use, sausages and the like.

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

  • n. ready-to-eat food products
  • n. a shop selling ready-to-eat food products

Etymologies

German Delikatessen, from pl. of Delikatesse, delicacy, from French délicatesse, from Italian delicatezza, from delicato, delicate, dainty, from Latin dēlicātus, pleasing; see delicate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1864. From German Delikatessen, plural of Delikatesse ("fine food"), from French délicatesse, from delicat ("fine"), from Latin delicatus ("alluring"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Did you know that "delicatessen" is German for "pleasing things to eat"?

    The Union - All Categories

  • ** I bought this on a trip to Spain, it should be available in Spanish delicatessen or via mail order.

    thepassionatecook

  • The first place we see is a delicatessen, which is about my favorite kind of place to eat anyway.

    It's Like This, Cat

  • I guessed it from his early use of the word 'delicatessen'.

    The Heart Of A Dog

  • The professor has deciphered the word 'Nesseta-ciled' by reversal: it is 'delicatessen' ...

    The Heart Of A Dog

  • When they had saved three thousand dollars they married and put into effect the plan which had been their chief subject of conversation every day and every evening for ten years -- they opened the "delicatessen" in Avenue A, near Second Street.

    The Fortune Hunter

  • They claim that its success has grown out of the close relationship between wholesalers of staple British fare and high quality "delicatessen" retailers who have moved in over the past decade.

    Latest financial, market & economic news and analysis | guardian.co.uk

  • Today I taught myself a way to absolutely remember how to spell "delicatessen" .... spell "delicates" and add "sen."

    A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Shop

  • It had the appearance of a reckless attempt to buy out a whole delicatessen shop.

    CHAPTER XI

  • He felt certain that it could not accommodate two of his delicatessen counters, and he knew that he could lose all of it in one of his storerooms.

    THE PRODIGAL FATHER

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