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aspic1

[as-pik]
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noun
  1. a savory jelly usually made with meat or fish stock and gelatin, chilled and used as a garnish and coating for meats, seafoods, eggs, etc.
  2. a similar jelly made with spiced tomato juice and gelatin, served as a salad.

Origin of aspic1

1780–90; < French; perhaps so called because the form or color resembled those of an asp. See aspic2

aspic2

[as-pik]
noun
  1. Obsolete. asp1.

Origin of aspic2

1520–30; < Middle French, perhaps equivalent to Old French asp(e) asp1 + -ic, modeled on Middle French basilique basilisk

aspic3

[as-pik]
noun
  1. a variety of lavender cultivated for its oil, used in perfumes and toiletries.

Origin of aspic3

1595–1605; < French; Old French espic < Medieval Latin spīcus spikenard, Latin: variant of spīca, spīcum spike2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aspic

Historical Examples

  • Decorate it with endive, and put a border of aspic jelly round it.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • When firm, cut them out with a border of aspic to each, and serve on chopped aspic.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • The rascal had flung a quotation at me—out of Larks in Aspic!

    Two Sides of the Face

    Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • A mould of aspic in which there are vegetables; something concealed.

  • Stir all into a tablespoonful of mayonnaise and one of aspic, semi-fluid of course.

    Choice Cookery

    Catherine Owen


British Dictionary definitions for aspic

aspic1

noun
  1. a savoury jelly based on meat or fish stock, used as a relish or as a mould for meat, vegetables, etc

Word Origin

C18: from French: aspic (jelly), asp 1; variously explained as referring to its colour or coldness as compared to that of the snake

aspic2

noun
  1. an archaic word for asp 1

Word Origin

C17: from French, from Old Provençal espic spike, from Latin spīca, head (of flower); compare spikenard

aspic3

noun
  1. either of two species of lavender, Lavandula spica or L. latifolia, that yield an oil used in perfumery: family Lamiaceae (labiates)

Word Origin

C16: from Old French, a variant of aspe asp ²
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 aspic

n.

1789, "savory meat jelly," from French aspic "jelly" (18c.), literally "asp," from Old French aspe (see asp) + ending from basilisc "basilisk" (the two creatures sometimes were confused with one another). The foodstuff said to be so called from its coldness (froid comme un aspic is said by Littré to be a proverbial phrase), or the colors in the gelatin, or the shape of the mold.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper