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morsel

[mawr-suh l] /ˈmɔr səl/
noun
1.
a bite, mouthful, or small portion of food, candy, etc.
2.
a small piece, quantity, or amount of anything; scrap; bit.
3.
something very appetizing; treat or tidbit.
4.
a person or thing that is attractive or delightful.
verb (used with object)
5.
to distribute in or divide into tiny portions (often followed by out):
to morsel out the last pieces of meat.
Origin of morsel
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French, equivalent to mors a bite (< Latin morsum something bitten off, noun use of neuter of morsus, past participle of mordēre to bite) + -el < Latin -ellus diminutive suffix; see -elle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for morsel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the same way he detached a morsel of congealed butter that clung pertinaciously to the end of his bashfully retreating nose.

    Thelma Marie Corelli
  • Bones were picked from ditches, if perchance there might be upon them a morsel of meat.

    Reminiscences of a Rebel Wayland Fuller Dunaway
  • He gave it a very small portion at a time, refusing to give it any food, until it came humbly crawling up to receive the morsel.

    With Axe and Rifle W.H.G. Kingston
  • Thinking of these, she said that every morsel she ate would choke her were it not for her own hunger.

    Mary, Mary James Stephens
  • That was too nasty a morsel for even this monster to swallow; so it let go its hold of the boat.

    Aino Folk-Tales Basil Hall Chamberlain
  • Riviere smiled sadly, but consented to deign to eat a morsel in the porch.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • There is not a morsel of an old letter or of any other writing in either.

    Bleak House Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for morsel

morsel

/ˈmɔːsəl/
noun
1.
a small slice or mouthful of food
2.
a small piece; bit
3.
(Irish, informal) a term of endearment for a child
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from mors a bite, from Latin morsus, from mordēre to bite
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 morsel
n.

late 13c., "a bite, mouthful; small piece, fragment," from Old French morsel (Modern French morceau) "small bite, portion, helping," diminutive of mors "a bite," from Latin morsus "biting, a bite," neuter past participle of mordere "to bite" (see mordant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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