the main meal of the day, eaten in the evening or at midday.
a formal meal in honor of some person or occasion.

Origin of dinner

1250–1300; Middle English diner < Old French disner (noun use of v.); see dine
Related formsdin·ner·less, adjectivepre·din·ner, noun, adjective
Can be confuseddiner dinner
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pre-dinner

Contemporary Examples of pre-dinner

Historical Examples of pre-dinner

  • A host of quiet members of the Anglo-Saxon colony had come in for their pre-dinner cock-tails.

  • The butler must have been busy with his pre-dinner tasks in the rear; it was Gladys herself who admitted him.

    Murder in the Gunroom

    Henry Beam Piper

British Dictionary definitions for pre-dinner



a meal taken in the evening
a meal taken at midday, esp when it is the main meal of the day; lunch
  1. a formal evening meal, as of a club, society, etc
  2. a public banquet in honour of someone or something
a complete meal at a fixed price in a restaurant; table d'hôte
(modifier) of, relating to, or used at dinnerdinner plate; dinner table; dinner hour
do like a dinner (usually passive) Australian informal to do for, overpower, or outdo

Word Origin for dinner

C13: from Old French disner; see dine
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 pre-dinner



c.1300, from Old French disner (11c.), originally "breakfast," later "lunch," noun use of infinitive disner (see dine). Always used in English for the main meal of the day; shift from midday to evening began with the fashionable classes. Childish reduplication din-din is attested from 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper