dinner

\ \ [13] The etymological meaning of dinner is ‘breakfast’. The word comes ultimately from an unrecorded Vulgar Latin verb *disjūnāre, a compound formed from the prefix dis- ‘un-’ and jējūnusfasting, hungry’ (source of English jejune [17]): hence, ‘break one’s fast’. Old French adopted it in two phases: as desiuner, which became modern French déjeuner (originally ‘breakfast’ but later ‘lunch’), borrowed by English in the 18th century; and as disner. In later Old French this developed into diner (source of English dine [13]), which came to be used as a noun – from which English acquired dinner.
\ \ In English it has always denoted the main meal of the day, although the timing of this has varied over the centuries, and continues to do so, according to region, social class, etc.
\ \ Cf.JEJUNE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dinner — din ner, n. [F. d[^i]ner, fr. d[^i]ner to dine. See {Dine}.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] 2. An entertainment;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dinner — dinner, banquet, feast are comparable when denoting an elaborate meal that is served to guests or to a group (as of members of a club or association) and that often marks some special occasion (as an anniversary) or honors a particular person.… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Dinner — (engl.), die Hauptmahlzeit, das Diner …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dinner — (engl), s.v.w. Diner …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dinner — Dinner→Abendessen …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • dinner — c.1300, from O.Fr. disner (11c.), originally breakfast, later lunch, noun use of infinitive disner (see DINE (Cf. dine)). Always used in English for the main meal of the day; shift from midday to evening began with the fashionable classes.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dinner — ↑ Diner …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • dinner — [n] evening meal banquet, blowout*, chow*, collation, din din*, eats*, feast, feedbag*, fete, main meal, major munch*, potluck, principal meal, refection, regale, repast, ribs*, spread*, supper, table d’hôte; concept 459 …   New thesaurus

  • dinner — ► NOUN 1) the main meal of the day, taken either around midday or in the evening. 2) a formal evening meal. ORIGIN Old French disner to dine (used as a noun) …   English terms dictionary

  • dinner — [din′ər] n. [ME diner < OFr disner, inf. used as n.: see DINE] 1. the main meal of the day, whether eaten in the evening or about noon 2. a banquet in honor of some person or event 3. a complete meal at a set price with no course omitted;… …   English World dictionary

  • dinner is up — dinner/tea/etc is up spoken phrase used for saying that food or drink is ready Thesaurus: prepare food for cooking or eatinghyponym Main entry: up …   Useful english dictionary

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