à la carte

[ah luh kahrt, al-uh; French a la kart]

adjective, adverb

with a separate price for each dish offered on the menu: dinner à la carte.

Nearby words

  1. à l'orange,
  2. à l'étuvée,
  3. à la,
  4. à la bonne heure,
  5. à la broche,
  6. à la française,
  7. à la king,
  8. à la mode,
  9. à la mort,
  10. à la rigueur


Origin of à la carte

1820–30; < French: according to the menu; see carte

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for a la carte

à la carte

adjective, adverb

(of a menu or a section of a menu) having dishes listed separately and individually pricedCompare table d'hôte
(of a dish) offered on such a menu; not part of a set meal

Word Origin for à la carte

C19: from French, literally: according to the card

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 a la carte

a la carte

1826, from French à la carte, literally "by the card" (see card (n.)); in other words, "ordered by separate items." Distinguished from a table d'hôte, meal served at a fixed, inclusive price.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper