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grocery

[groh-suh-ree, grohs-ree]
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noun, plural gro·cer·ies.
  1. Also called grocery store. a grocer's store.
  2. Usually groceries; especially British. grocery. food and other commodities sold by a grocer.
  3. the business of a grocer.
  4. Southwestern U.S. (formerly)
    1. a saloon or bar.
    2. a liquor store.

Origin of grocery

1400–50; late Middle English grocerie < Old French grosserie. See gross, -ery
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for grocery

grocery

noun plural -ceries
  1. the business or premises of a grocer
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 grocery

n.

mid-15c., "goods sold by a grocer" (now groceries, 1630s), earlier the name of the Grocer's Hall in London (early 15c.), from Old French grosserie, from grossier (see grocer). Meaning "a grocer's shop" is 1828, American English.

GROCERY. A grocer's shop. This word is not in the English dictionaries except in the sense of grocer's ware, such as tea, sugar, spice, etc.; in which sense we also use it in the plural. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]

Self-service groceries were a novelty in 1913 when a Montana, U.S., firm copyrighted the word groceteria (with the ending from cafeteria used in an un-etymological sense) to name them. The term existed through the 1920s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper