See more synonyms for dish on
  1. an open, relatively shallow container of pottery, glass, metal, wood, etc., used for various purposes, especially for holding or serving food.
  2. any container used at table: dirty dishes.
  3. the food served or contained in a dish: The meal consisted of several dishes.
  4. a particular article, type, or preparation of food: Rice is an inexpensive dish.
  5. the quantity held by a dish; dishful: a dish of applesauce.
  6. anything like a dish in form or use.
  7. concavity or the degree of concavity, as of a wheel.
  8. Also called dish antenna. a concave, dish-shaped reflector serving to focus electromagnetic energy as part of a transmitter or receiver of radio, television, or microwave signals.
  9. Slang. an attractive person, especially a female: His wife is quite a dish.
  10. Slang. an item of gossip.
verb (used with object)
  1. to put into or serve in a dish, as food: to dish food onto plates.
  2. to fashion like a dish; make concave.
  3. Slang. to gossip about: They talked all night, dishing their former friends.
  4. Slang. to defeat; frustrate; cheat.
verb (used without object)
  1. Slang. to talk together informally, especially, to gossip.
Verb Phrases
  1. dish out, Informal.
    1. to serve (food) from a serving dish, pot, etc.
    2. to deal out; distribute: She dished out our pay in silver dollars.
  1. dish it out, Informal. to dispense abusive language, punishment, or praise, enthusiastic approval, etc.: When it comes to flattery, he can really dish it out.

Origin of dish

before 900; Middle English; Old English disc dish, plate, bowl (akin to German Tisch table) < Latin discus dish, discus
Related formsun·der·dish, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dishing

Contemporary Examples of dishing

Historical Examples of dishing

British Dictionary definitions for dishing


  1. a container used for holding or serving food, esp an open shallow container of pottery, glass, etc
  2. the food that is served or contained in a dish
  3. a particular article or preparation of fooda local fish dish
  4. Also called: dishful the amount contained in a dish
  5. something resembling a dish, esp in shape
  6. a concavity or depression
  7. short for dish aerial, satellite dish aerial
  8. informal an attractive person
  9. informal something that one particularly enjoys or excels in
verb (tr)
  1. to put into a dish
  2. to make hollow or concave
  3. British informal to ruin or spoilhe dished his chances of getting the job
See also dish out, dish up
Derived Formsdishlike, adjective

Word Origin for dish

Old English disc, from Latin discus quoit, see disc
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 dishing



Old English disc "plate, bowl, platter," from Latin discus "dish, platter, quoit," from Greek diskos "disk, platter" (see disk). A common West Germanic borrowing; Old High German borrowed the word as tisc "plate," but German tisch now means "table," in common with other later Romanic forms (e.g. Italian desco, French dais). Meaning "particular variety of food served" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "what one likes" is c.1900; that of "attractive woman" is 1920s. Meaning "concave reflector or antenna" attested from 1948.



"to serve food," late 14c., from dish (n.). Meaning "to disparage, denigrate" first recorded 1940s; probably from the same notion in figurative dish it out "administer punishment" (1934). Related: Dished; dishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dishing


In addition to the idioms beginning with dish

  • dish out
  • dish the dirt

also see:

  • do the dishes

Also see underdishwater.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.