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[luhnch] /lʌntʃ/
a light midday meal between breakfast and dinner; luncheon.
any light meal or snack.
a restaurant or lunchroom:
Let's eat at the dairy lunch.
verb (used without object)
to eat lunch:
We lunched quite late today.
verb (used with object)
to provide lunch for:
They lunched us in regal fashion.
out to lunch, Slang. not paying attention or tending to business; negligent:
You must have been out to lunch when you wrote that weird report.
Origin of lunch
First recorded in 1585-95; short for luncheon
Related forms
luncher, noun
lunchless, adjective
prelunch, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lunching
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British Dictionary definitions for lunching


a meal eaten during the middle of the day
(Caribbean) (among older people) mid-afternoon tea
(intransitive) to eat lunch
(transitive) to provide or buy lunch for
Derived Forms
luncher, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably short form of luncheon
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 lunching



"mid-day repast," 1786, shortened form of luncheon (q.v.). The verb meaning "to take to lunch" (said to be from the noun) also is attested from 1786:

PRATTLE. I always to be ſure, makes a point to keep up the dignity of the family I lives in. Wou'd you take a more ſolid refreſhment?--Have you lunch'd, Mr. Bribe?

BRIBE. Lunch'd O dear! Permit me, my dear Mrs. Prattle, to refreſh my sponge, upon the honey dew that clings to your raviſhing pouters. O! Mrs. Prattle, this ſhall be my lunch. (kiſſes)

["The Mode," in William Davies' "Plays Written for a Private Theatre," London, 1786]
But as late as 1817 the only definition of lunch in Webster's is "a large piece of food." OED says in 1820s the word "was regarded either as a vulgarism, or as a fashionable affectation." Related: Lunched; lunching. Lunch money is attested from 1868; lunch-time (n.) is from 1821; lunch hour is from 1840. Slang phrase out to lunch "insane, stupid, clueless" first recorded 1955, on notion of being "not there." Old English had nonmete "afternoon meal," literally "noon-meat."

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



  1. Stupid; ineffectual; useless: A lunch guy might as well be out to lunch for all the good he's doing
  2. Old-fashioned; passe´; out of style: That bow tie is stone lunchy (1960s+ Students)

Related Terms

eat someone's lunch, out to lunch, shoot one's cookies

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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Idioms and Phrases with lunching
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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