Definitions

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

  • noun A small piece of food.
  • noun A tasty delicacy; a tidbit.
  • noun A small amount; a piece.
  • noun One that is delightful and extremely pleasing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A bite; a mouthful; a small piece of food; a small meal.
  • noun A small quantity of anything considered as parceled out, often of something taken or indulged in; a fragment; a little piece.
  • noun A person: used jestingly or in contempt.

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

  • noun A little bite or bit of food.
  • noun A small quantity; a little piece; a fragment.

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

  • noun A small fragment or share of something, commonly applied to food.
  • noun A very small amount.

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

  • noun a small quantity of anything
  • noun a small amount of solid food; a mouthful

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, diminutive of mors, bite, from Latin morsum, from neuter past participle of mordēre, to bite; see mer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English morsel, from Old French morsel, from Medieval Latin morsellum ("a bit, a little piece"), diminutive. of Latin morsum ("a bit"), neuter of morsus, past participle of mordere ("to bite"). Compare French morceau.

Examples

  • II. i.286 (46,8) [This ancient morsel] For _morsel_ Dr. Warburton reads _ancient moral_, very elegantly and judiciously, yet I know not whether the author might not write _morsel_, as we say a _piece of a man_.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • The flame from the tiny morsel is enough to kick-start the rest of my sluggish system, and when the annual flu strikes me down (as it always does!) a good dose of it chopped into a cup of green tea helps chase away the edge of nausea.

    Archive 2009-09-01

  • What about the hunter on safari whose handlers dress and skin the game, and take every precious morsel from the gut pile that most of use leave for the canines, buzzards and maggots?

    The Meat Not Eaten

  • What about the hunter on safari whose handlers dress and skin the game, and take every precious morsel from the gut pile that most of use leave for the canines, buzzards and maggots?

    The Meat Not Eaten

  • The flame from the tiny morsel is enough to kick-start the rest of my sluggish system, and when the annual flu strikes me down (as it always does!) a good dose of it chopped into a cup of green tea helps chase away the edge of nausea.

    Warming the Inside

  • Of particular interest was this rather juicy morsel from the SPY column ...

    Cornerstone About to Become Tombstone?

  • ‘What amount of small change, Missis,’ he said, with an abstracted air, after a little meditation, ‘might you call a morsel of money?’

    Our Mutual Friend

  • Once a morsel is enjoyed I never think of it again.

    The Breakfast of the Birds, and Other Stories

  • A particularly violent gesture loosened the morsel from the fork and it flew over the table, hitting Mr. Sjollema on the nose.

    A Day on Skates: The Story of a Dutch Picnic

  • 'What amount of small change, Missis,' he said, with an abstracted air, after a little meditation, 'might you call a morsel of money?'

    Our Mutual Friend

Comments

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  • Often dainty, in my experience.

    December 2, 2007

  • Indeed. You never read of a great gallumphing morsel, do you?

    December 2, 2007

  • Quite!

    December 2, 2007

  • No, but my dog gallumphs quite a bit. Love that word...

    December 4, 2007