[ ah-per-i-teef, uh-per-; French a-pey-ree-teef ]
/ ɑˌpɛr ɪˈtif, əˌpɛr-; French a peɪ riˈtif /

noun, plural a·pé·ri·tifs [ah-per-i-teefs; French a-pey-ree-teef] /ɑˌpɛr ɪˈtifs; French a peɪ riˈtif/.

a small drink of alcoholic liquor taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal.
Also called apéritif wine. a wine served as an appetizer or cocktail.

Nearby words

  1. apus,
  2. apx.,
  3. apyrase,
  4. apyretic,
  5. apyrexia,
  6. aq,
  7. aq.,
  8. aq. bull.,
  9. aq. comm.,
  10. aq. dest.

Origin of apéritif

1890–95; < French (vin) apéritif; see aperitive

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

Examples from the Web for aperitif

  • A French cafe was installed there, and two or three soldiers were taking their aperitif before dinner out in the air.

    The Garden Of Allah|Robert Hichens
  • The man will bring you an aperitif while I escape from this accursed frock coat.

    Ewing\'s Lady|Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for aperitif


/ (ɑːˌpɛrɪˈtiːf, əˌpɛr-) /


an alcoholic drink, esp a wine, drunk before a meal to whet the appetite

Word Origin for apéritif

C19: from French, from Medieval Latin aperitīvus, from Latin aperīre to open

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 aperitif



1894, "alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite," from French apéritif "laxative, laxative liqueur," literally "opening," from Latin aperitivus, from aperire "to open" (see overt). Cf. Middle English apertive (adj.), a medical word meaning "capable of opening or dilating" (pores, etc.), early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper