Definitions

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

  • noun The chief meal of the day, eaten in the evening or at midday.
  • noun A banquet or formal meal in honor of a person or event.
  • noun The food prepared for either of these meals.
  • noun A full-course meal served at a fixed price; table d'hôte.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The principal meal of the day, taken at midday or later, even in the evening.
  • noun An entertainment; a feast; a dinner-party.
  • To take dinner; dine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The principal meal of the day, eaten in some countries about midday, but in others (especially in the U. S. and in large cities) at a later hour.
  • noun An entertainment; a feast.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The main meal of the day, often eaten in the evening.
  • noun An evening meal.
  • noun A midday meal (in a context in which the evening meal is called supper or tea).
  • noun A meal given to an animal.
  • noun A formal meal for many people eaten for a special occasion.
  • noun uncountable The food provided or consumed at any such meal.

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

  • noun a party of people assembled to have dinner together
  • noun the main meal of the day served in the evening or at midday

Etymologies

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

[Middle English diner, morning meal, from Old French disner, diner, to dine, morning meal; see dine.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French disner ("lunch”, but originally “breakfast"), from Latin dis- + iēiūnō ("to break the fast").

Examples

  • At length the clock in the steeple of the "Old South" pronounced that the dinner hour had arrived -- and despite the intense cold, the street soon became alive with people hurrying to and fro; for what weather can induce a hungry man to neglect that important era in the events of the day -- his _dinner_?

    Venus in Boston; A Romance of City Life

  • 'We had,' she records, in May 1779, 'a very grand dinner to-day, _though nothing to a Streatham dinner_, at the Ship Tavern [Brighton], where the officers mess, to which we were invited by the major and the captain. '

    Life of Johnson, Volume 3 1776-1780

  • In our house the term dinner was reserved for special occasions and holidays.

    Muffins and Mayhem

  • In our house the term dinner was reserved for special occasions and holidays.

    Muffins and Mayhem

  • In Spain dinner is eaten late, ten, eleven p.m. late, so tapas are the solution.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • In Spain dinner is eaten late, ten, eleven p.m. late, so tapas are the solution.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • In Spain dinner is eaten late, ten, eleven p.m. late, so tapas are the solution.

    debout - French Word-A-Day

  • What brings hundreds to the dinner is the appearance of alumni members who sign autographs and interact with guests.

    Mudcat offers color-blind message of togetherness

  • Although the dinner is a traditional showcase for presidential humor, there was scathing backlash from Democrats, anti-war liberals and relatives of servicemembers.

    White House hopefuls turn up the humor

  • When mamma and I sit down to what we call dinner, I always feel that there is

    He Knew He Was Right

Comments

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  • One evening, after that meal which the Otchkinsons, observing a finer distinction than the Ramerils, called dinner when they had company, but supper when they were alone... - ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008