Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[suhm-uh l-yey; French saw-muh-lyey] /ˌsʌm əlˈyeɪ; French sɔ məˈlyeɪ/
noun, plural sommeliers
[suhm-uh l-yeyz; French saw-muh-lyey] /ˌsʌm əlˈyeɪz; French sɔ məˈlyeɪ/ (Show IPA)
a waiter, as in a club or restaurant, who is in charge of wines.
Origin of sommelier
1920-25; < French, Middle French, dissimilated form of *sommerier, derivative of sommier one charged with arranging transportation, equivalent to somme burden (< Late Latin sagma horse load < Greek ságma covering, pack saddle) + -ier -ier2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sommelier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She caught the hand with which he was signalling to the sommelier.

    The Glimpses of the Moon Edith Wharton
  • And when the sommelier attempted to help him with the wine, he was elbowed vigorously.

    Visionaries James Huneker
  • He had a professional talk with the sommelier while waiting for the soup, then settled down to enjoy his meal.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for sommelier


a wine steward in a restaurant or hotel
Word Origin
French: butler, via Old French from Old Provençal saumalier pack-animal driver, from Late Latin sagma a packsaddle, from Greek
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sommelier

wine waiter, 1889, from French sommelier "a butler," originally an officer who had charge of provisions (13c.), from somme "pack" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *salma, corruption of sagma "a pack-saddle," later the pack on the saddle (Isidore of Seville). Also borrowed in 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for sommelier

Word Value for sommelier

Scrabble Words With Friends