Definitions

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

  • n. A frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice, sugar, and water, and also containing milk, egg white, or gelatin.
  • n. Chiefly British A beverage made of sweetened diluted fruit juice.
  • n. Australian An alcoholic beverage, especially beer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A food of frozen fruit juice with a dairy product such as milk added; a sorbet with dairy ingredients.
  • n. A powder made of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and flavourings, intended to be eaten alone or mixed with water to make a drink.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A refreshing drink, common in the East, made of the juice of some fruit, diluted, sweetened, and flavored in various ways
  • n. A flavored water ice.
  • n. A preparation of bicarbonate of soda, tartaric acid, sugar, etc., variously flavored, for making an effervescing drink; -- called also sherbet powder.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A favorite cooling drink of the East, made of fruit-juices diluted with water, and variously sweetened and flarvored. It is cooled with snow when this can be procured.
  • n. A water-ice, variously flavored.

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

  • n. a frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice and sugar, but also containing milk or egg-white or gelatin

Etymologies

Ottoman Turkish, sweet fruit drink, from Persian sharbat, from Arabic šarba, drink, from šariba, to drink; see śrb in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Turkish şerbet, from Persian شربت (šarbat), from Arabic شربة (shárba). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • His relationship with Imam Abu Hanifah was quite complex; and he later had him arrested, and had him killed by poisoned sherbet the word sherbet is from the Arabic word sharabat--beverages according to some accounts.

    Monday, October 31, 2005

  • The sherbet is good; she has mixed it so that the tartness of the fruit still tells beneath the syrup. next »

    Excerpt: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

  • However, this sherbet is so good that, in my opinion, it is worth enjoying more than once a year.

    2007 October « Baking History

  • This piece featured pretty partnering by men in breeches and women in short sherbet-green tutus, but ultimately it seemed to be about the women in California Ballet and about the company's future.

    Fore, right!

  • It seemed too creamy to be called sherbet, but chef/co-owner Veronica Laramie explained that if it contains dairy and eggs, it's ice cream; if it contains dairy and no eggs, it's sherbet.

    Anneli Rufus: World's Biggest DQ Opens

  • I know "sherbert" is a colloquialism, but it is spelled "sherbet"--the other spelling isn't recognized at all by the OED or the spellchecker on this site.

    Really? I Mean, Really?!? (Yes, MORE Turkey Wrecks)

  • Traditional sherbet, which is Arabic in origin, is a frozen mixture of sweetened fruit juice and water and occasionally, wine.

    Ciao Bella Lebanese Yogurt Sherbet

  • PINE SHERBET FOUNTAIN: Madman explained to me that this is modeled on a penny candy in the UK called sherbet fountain, not unlike American Fun Dip.

    Augieland:

  • Their best drink was "coffa" and sherbet, which is only honey and water.

    Captain John Smith

  • The dinner consisted of pillaos of mutton and rice, bread, and sugar sherbet, that is, eau sucrée; and the rule was, that each person, having eaten to repletion, was to depart by another gate.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

Comments

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  • I've taught myself to say "sure bet," but only so I don't forget how to spell it.

    September 19, 2011

  • After I eats ma sherbet I goes to the terlit.

    October 10, 2009

  • And a pop band, oh yeah!

    May 10, 2008

  • Another view from the Antipodes. Sherbet always refers to the effervescent, usually lemon-flavoured, powdered confectionary (e.g. lemon sherbets, which enclose the sherbet in hard candy, mmm). A sorbet would be called a sorbet.

    Pronunciation here is 'ʃɜb�?t (SHERbuht) i.e. with the unstressed schwa vowel in the second syllable, so the bets are off.

    May 10, 2008

  • Bert, and his culinary sidekick -Bert, have completely disowned this sherbert idea. No no no.

    May 6, 2008

  • Gangerh, I've read that they mean two different things in some parts of the English-speaking world (I think it's actually in the article I cited below.) In my stompin' grounds, though, they're just words spoken by people of different dialects. :-)

    May 6, 2008

  • I've just read the Wordie definition of sherbet and it's a frozen dessert. Nothing like what we called sherbert, which was a kind of fizzy icing sugar. Now that's either sorted it or unsorted it! Perhaps sherbet is what we here call sorbet. Definition seems the same sort of thing.

    May 6, 2008

  • One man's sherbet is another's sherbert. Anyway over here it's 'sherbert' 'cause my daddy said so and his name was Bert. Come to think of it my mummy's name is Bet(ty)! (And I don't recall her passing an opinion on it).

    May 6, 2008

  • It's a sher-bet that somebody (sionnach) is a little cranky and could use a nice refreshing spoonful of sherbeRt.

    May 6, 2008

  • Yeah, them's fightin' words. Heh. (<--my GWB impersonation)

    I say sherbet and people look at me funny. I say sherbert and significantly fewer people look at me funny. Mostly I just try not to say it.

    May 6, 2008

  • Another vote for sherbert here, spelling and pronunciation.

    May 6, 2008

  • "Sherbert" is how we pronounce it in California. A sher-bet is something you'd want at the race track.

    May 6, 2008

  • Sionnach, I beg your pardon. I don't have a majorly dysfunctional relationship with the English language, and that's how I pronounce it, as does just about everyone from my part of the U.S. Are you saying we're all dysfunctional? Quite a sweep, that. :-)

    Besides, you may never compare me to GHWB, thankyouverymuch.

    May 6, 2008

  • Only someone suffering from a majorly dysfunctional relationship with the English language like George Herbert,
    Walker Bush could possibly think that it's OK to pronounce this word as sherbert.

    Though possibly this is just another example of the universal law of conservation of consonants. All those r's from people pahking theih cahs in Hahvahd Yahd have to go somewheah. Just as all those consonants stolen from the people of Ougadougou showed up in the Balkans.

    May 6, 2008

  • Agreed.

    May 6, 2008

  • It's Sherbert. Even when it's spelled 'sherbet' it's pronounced sherbert. The "r" is omnipresent.

    May 6, 2008

  • Another voice in the sherbet/sherbert debate.

    May 5, 2008

  • It's sherbert, I swear. It even TASTES like sherbert. I don't know what people are thinking, pronouncing things the way they're spelled. What's this world coming to?!

    September 28, 2007

  • My mama grew up in Canada, so that theory has possibilities....

    August 2, 2007

  • Eh? Who knows? No Canadians in my neck o' the woods when I was growing up; I know that. :-)

    August 1, 2007

  • Yeah but if you look at the derivation from sorbet, where's that extra r coming from, eh? - Canadian wannabe

    August 1, 2007

  • Right. The cookie recipe. How could I have forgotten?

    July 25, 2007

  • I know! Send him our love, and tell him that I'm sending along that cookie recipe that he asked for. ;)

    July 25, 2007

  • Nope. Gotta go with jennarenn on this. Sherbert. Extra R. It's a bona fide alternate spelling/pronunciation in American Heritage. (Which should be called Uniter Heritage, I suppose.)

    Where's chained_bear when you need a good sherbet/sorbet argument?

    July 25, 2007

  • You bet. It's a sure bet.

    July 25, 2007

  • Sher bet. Hahahahahah. You can't be serious. People actually pronounced sherbet. Like a bet?

    July 25, 2007

  • Same way it looks. "SHER bet." Silly. :-)

    July 25, 2007

  • How's it supposed to be pronounced? -Miss Mid-Atlantic

    July 25, 2007

  • Interesting! Most people in this area (mid-Atlantic) pronounce it that way too.

    July 25, 2007

  • My stepmother pronounces it sherbert. She's from Texas so I cut her a little slack.

    July 25, 2007