• synonyms


  1. a sweet liqueur made from wine or grape juice combined with brandy or other spirits and often flavored with almonds, fruit, or fruit kernels.
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Also rat·a·fee [rat-uh-fee] /ˌræt əˈfi/.

Origin of ratafia

Borrowed into English from French around 1690–1700
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ratafia

Historical Examples of ratafia

  • From their replies, the Emperor suspected that it was ratafia; but he would not have sworn to it.

    The Fte At Coqueville

    Emile Zola

  • The yolks of eight eggs, about eight drops of essence of ratafia.

  • It was cheap, clean, certain, and the taste of ratafia was far from unpleasant.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan

  • Ratafia is similarly manufactured, also by preference from a gean.

  • Mix them with the flour and sugar and then very, very carefully add a few drops of ratafia.

British Dictionary definitions for ratafia


ratafee (ˌrætəˈfiː)

  1. any liqueur made from fruit or from brandy with added fruit
  2. a flavouring essence made from almonds
  3. Also called: ratafia biscuit mainly British a small macaroon flavoured with almonds
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Word Origin for ratafia

C17: from West Indian Creole French
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 ratafia


liqueur flavored with kernels of cherries, apricots, etc., 1690s, from French ratafia (17c.), of unknown origin; perhaps ultimately from the same source as arrack.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper