hors d'oeuvre

[ awr durv; French awr dœ-vruh ]
/ ɔr ˈdɜrv; French ɔr ˈdœ vrə /

noun, plural hors d'oeuvre, hors d'oeuvres [awr durvz; French awr dœ-vruh] /ɔr ˈdɜrvz; French ɔr ˈdœ vrə/.

a small bit of appetizing food, as spicy meat, fish, cheese, or a preparation of chopped or creamed foods, often served on crackers or small pieces of toast, for eating at cocktail parties or other gatherings where drinks are served with no other food.
an appetizer, as a relish or more elaborate preparation, served before or as the first course of a meal.

Origin of hors d'oeuvre

1705–15; < French: outside of the main course
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hors d'oeuvres

hors d'oeuvre

/ (ɔː ˈdɜːvr, French ɔr dœvrə) /

noun plural hors d'oeuvre or hors d'oeuvres (ˈdɜːvr, French dœvrə)

an additional dish served as an appetizer, usually before the main meal

Word Origin for hors d'oeuvre

C18: from French, literally: outside the work, not part of the main course
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