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  1. a small portion of a food or drink served before or at the beginning of a meal to stimulate the desire to eat.
  2. any small portion that stimulates a desire for more or that indicates more is to follow: The first game was an appetizer to a great football season.
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Origin of appetizer

First recorded in 1860–65; appetiz(ing) + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for appetizer



  1. a small amount of food or drink taken to stimulate the appetite
  2. any stimulating foretaste
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for appetizer


"something taken to whet the appetite," 1820, agent noun from appetize.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper