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[din-er] /ˈdɪn ər/
the main meal of the day, eaten in the evening or at midday.
a formal meal in honor of some person or occasion.
Origin of dinner
1250-1300; Middle English diner < Old French disner (noun use of v.); see dine
Related forms
dinnerless, adjective
predinner, noun, adjective
Can be confused
diner, dinner. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pre-dinner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A host of quiet members of the Anglo-Saxon colony had come in for their pre-dinner cock-tails.

  • The butler must have been busy with his pre-dinner tasks in the rear; it was Gladys herself who admitted him.

    Murder in the Gunroom Henry Beam Piper
British Dictionary definitions for pre-dinner


a meal taken in the evening
a meal taken at midday, esp when it is the main meal of the day; lunch
  1. a formal evening meal, as of a club, society, etc
  2. a public banquet in honour of someone or something
a complete meal at a fixed price in a restaurant; table d'hôte
(modifier) of, relating to, or used at dinner: dinner plate, dinner table, dinner hour
(usually passive) (Austral, informal) do like a dinner, to do for, overpower, or outdo
Word Origin
C13: from Old French disner; see dine
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 pre-dinner



c.1300, from Old French disner (11c.), originally "breakfast," later "lunch," noun use of infinitive disner (see dine). Always used in English for the main meal of the day; shift from midday to evening began with the fashionable classes. Childish reduplication din-din is attested from 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pre-dinner


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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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