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[feest] /fist/
any rich or abundant meal:
The steak dinner was a feast.
a sumptuous entertainment or meal for many guests:
a wedding feast.
something highly agreeable:
The Rembrandt exhibition was a feast for the eyes.
a periodical celebration or time of celebration, usually of a religious nature, commemorating an event, person, etc.:
Every year, in September, the townspeople have a feast in honor of their patron saint.
verb (used without object)
to have or partake of a feast; eat sumptuously.
to dwell with gratification or delight, as on a picture or view.
verb (used with object)
to provide or entertain with a feast.
feast one's eyes, to gaze with great joy, admiration, or relish:
to feast one's eyes on the Grand Canyon.
Origin of feast
1150-1200; Middle English feste < Old French < Latin fēsta, neuter plural (taken as feminine singular noun) of fēstus festal, festive, equivalent to fēs- (akin to fair2) + -tus adj. suffix
Related forms
feaster, noun
feastless, adjective
outfeast, verb (used with object)
overfeast, verb
prefeast, noun
unfeasted, adjective
2. Feast, banquet imply large social events, with an abundance of food. A feast is a meal with a plenteous supply of food and drink for a large company: to provide a feast for all company employees. A banquet is an elaborate feast for a formal and ceremonious occasion: the main speaker at a banquet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for feast
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All is prepared—the table and the feast— With due appurtenance of clothes and cushions.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • But in good time the Lybian pipe warns us that the feast is ready.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • He is having a feast of Marennes and he asks me to join him.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • The rest will to Dax when the prince starts, which will be before the feast of the Epiphany.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • If after I am free a friend of mine gave a feast, and did not invite me to it, I should not mind a bit.

    De Profundis Oscar Wilde
British Dictionary definitions for feast


a large and sumptuous meal, usually given as an entertainment for several people
a periodic religious celebration
something extremely pleasing or sumptuous: a feast for the eyes
movable feast, a festival or other event of variable date
  1. to eat a feast
  2. (usually foll by on) to enjoy the eating (of), as if feasting: to feast on cakes
(transitive) to give a feast to
(intransitive) foll by on. to take great delight (in): to feast on beautiful paintings
(transitive) to regale or delight: to feast one's mind or one's eyes
Derived Forms
feaster, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French feste, from Latin festa, neuter plural (later assumed to be feminine singular) of festus joyful; related to Latin fānum temple, fēriae festivals
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 feast

c.1200, "religious anniversary characterized by rejoicing" (rather than fasting), from Old French feste (12c., Modern French fête) "religious festival; noise, racket," from Vulgar Latin *festa (fem. singular; also source of Italian festa, Spanish fiesta), from Latin festa "holidays, feasts," noun use of neuter plural of festus "festive, joyful, merry," related to feriae "holiday" and fanum "temple," from PIE *dhes- "root of words in religious concepts" [Watkins]. The spelling -ea- was used in Middle English to represent the sound we mis-call "long e." Meaning "abundant meal" (whether public or private) is from late 14c.


c.1300, "partake of a feast," from Old French fester, from feste (see feast (n.)). Related: Feasted; feasting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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