[ah-per-i-teef, uh-per-; French a-pey-ree-teef]
See more synonyms for apéritif on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural a·pé·ri·tifs [ah-per-i-teefs; French a-pey-ree-teef] /ɑˌpɛr ɪˈtifs; French a peɪ riˈtif/.
  1. a small drink of alcoholic liquor taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal.
  2. Also called apéritif wine. a wine served as an appetizer or cocktail.

Origin of apéritif

1890–95; < French (vin) apéritif; see aperitive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aperitif

Historical Examples of aperitif

  • The man will bring you an aperitif while I escape from this accursed frock coat.

    Ewing\'s Lady

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for aperitif


  1. 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