[ suhm-uh l-yey; French saw-muh-lyey ]
/ ˌsʌm əlˈyeɪ; French sɔ məˈlyeɪ /

noun, plural som·me·liers [suhm-uh l-yeyz; French saw-muh-lyey] /ˌsʌm əlˈyeɪz; French sɔ məˈlyeɪ/.

a waiter, as in a club or restaurant, who is in charge of wines.

Nearby words

  1. somewise,
  2. somital,
  3. somite,
  4. somitic,
  5. somme,
  6. sommerfeld,
  7. sommerfeld, arnold johannes wilhelm,
  8. somnambulance,
  9. somnambulant,
  10. somnambulate

Origin of sommelier

1920–25; < French, Middle French, dissimilated form of *sommerier, derivative of sommier one charged with arranging transportation, equivalent to somme burden (< Late Latin sagma horse load < Greek ságma covering, pack saddle) + -ier -ier2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sommelier

British Dictionary definitions for sommelier


/ (ˈsʌməlˌjeɪ) /


a wine steward in a restaurant or hotel

Word Origin for sommelier

French: butler, via Old French from Old Provençal saumalier pack-animal driver, from Late Latin sagma a packsaddle, from Greek

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 sommelier



wine waiter, 1889, from French sommelier "a butler," originally an officer who had charge of provisions (13c.), from somme "pack" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *salma, corruption of sagma "a pack-saddle," later the pack on the saddle (Isidore of Seville). Also borrowed in 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper