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[del-ee] /ˈdɛl i/
noun, plural delis
[del-eez] /ˈdɛl iz/ (Show IPA).
a delicatessen.
food typically sold at a delicatessen, as cold cuts, salads, and pickles.
Origin of deli
First recorded in 1960-65; by shortening Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for deli
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The next letter (deli, March 20th, 1873) was all unclouded joy.

  • The deli pony is a rare-shaped little animal, standing from 13 hands to 13.2, with immense strength, and very fast.

    On the Equator Harry de Windt
  • He presently reported himself from deli, where he was learning the business of a "nutmace" planter.

  • Now, my deli Khans, let us give chase to the huge monster as we would to the savage Urus.

    The Circassian Chief W.H.G. Kingston
  • Our section from deli Abbas was moved up to take the place of the one that had been engaged, which now returned to Baghdad.

    War in the Garden of Eden

    Kermit Roosevelt
British Dictionary definitions for deli


noun (pl) delis
an informal word for delicatessen
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
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Word Origin and History for deli

1954, short for delicatessen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for deli



: deli food/ treat from the deli counter


  1. A delicatessen: a nice smelly deli
  2. Delicatessen food: Feel like deli for lunch? (1950s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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