• synonyms


  1. any rich or abundant meal: The steak dinner was a feast.
  2. a sumptuous entertainment or meal for many guests: a wedding feast.
  3. something highly agreeable: The Rembrandt exhibition was a feast for the eyes.
  4. a periodical celebration or time of celebration, usually of a religious nature, commemorating an event, person, etc.: Every year, in September, the townspeople have a feast in honor of their patron saint.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to have or partake of a feast; eat sumptuously.
  2. to dwell with gratification or delight, as on a picture or view.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to provide or entertain with a feast.
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  1. feast one's eyes, to gaze with great joy, admiration, or relish: to feast one's eyes on the Grand Canyon.
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Origin of feast

1150–1200; Middle English feste < Old French < Latin fēsta, neuter plural (taken as feminine singular noun) of fēstus festal, festive, equivalent to fēs- (akin to fair2) + -tus adj. suffix
Related formsfeast·er, nounfeast·less, adjectiveout·feast, verb (used with object)o·ver·feast, verbpre·feast, nounun·feast·ed, adjective


2. Feast, banquet imply large social events, with an abundance of food. A feast is a meal with a plenteous supply of food and drink for a large company: to provide a feast for all company employees. A banquet is an elaborate feast for a formal and ceremonious occasion: the main speaker at a banquet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for feaster

Historical Examples

  • Genius, and genius alone, can prepare a feast fit for the feaster.

    Holiday Tales

    W. H. H. Murray

  • An exception, one of three such, was the feaster on Raf's left.

    Star Born

    Andre Norton

  • Quickly follows him a feaster who has called Umalgo, the Spirit of the Sun, and was possessed by him.

  • According to Indian custom, no feaster dare leave uneaten food on his plate.

  • In these great feasts, the feaster makes one or several speeches before we begin to eat, and one again after all is done.

British Dictionary definitions for feaster


  1. a large and sumptuous meal, usually given as an entertainment for several people
  2. a periodic religious celebration
  3. something extremely pleasing or sumptuousa feast for the eyes
  4. movable feast a festival or other event of variable date
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  1. (intr)
    1. to eat a feast
    2. (usually foll by on)to enjoy the eating (of), as if feastingto feast on cakes
  2. (tr) to give a feast to
  3. (intr foll by on) to take great delight (in)to feast on beautiful paintings
  4. (tr) to regale or delightto feast one's mind or one's eyes
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Derived Formsfeaster, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French feste, from Latin festa, neuter plural (later assumed to be feminine singular) of festus joyful; related to Latin fānum temple, fēriae festivals
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 feaster



c.1200, "religious anniversary characterized by rejoicing" (rather than fasting), from Old French feste (12c., Modern French fête) "religious festival; noise, racket," from Vulgar Latin *festa (fem. singular; also source of Italian festa, Spanish fiesta), from Latin festa "holidays, feasts," noun use of neuter plural of festus "festive, joyful, merry," related to feriae "holiday" and fanum "temple," from PIE *dhes- "root of words in religious concepts" [Watkins]. The spelling -ea- was used in Middle English to represent the sound we mis-call "long e." Meaning "abundant meal" (whether public or private) is from late 14c.

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c.1300, "partake of a feast," from Old French fester, from feste (see feast (n.)). Related: Feasted; feasting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper