ap·​pe·​tiz·​er ˈa-pə-ˌtī-zər How to pronounce appetizer (audio)
: a food or drink that stimulates the appetite and is usually served before a meal
The appetizers included shrimp with cocktail sauce, vegetables and dips, cheeses, and fruits.
: something that stimulates a desire for more
a literary appetizer
hoped that the short trip would be an appetizer for longer ones

Examples of appetizer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Or maybe these testimonies are appetizers for the main course: a seven-page description, toward the book’s end, of the birth of Rush’s first child. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 Prices: appetizers $7 to $15, main courses $15 to $23. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 The Moon missions are an appetizer, offering a chance for practice and technology development in Earth's neighborhood. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 17 Nov. 2023 As Harris says, that was just the appetizer at their first stop, Johnny Reb’s True South. Laurie Ochoa, Los Angeles Times, 28 Oct. 2023 The set includes two stackable, rectangular baking dishes ideal for single-pan appetizers like candied sweet potatoes or stuffing. Andie Kanaras, Peoplemag, 28 Oct. 2023 It can be used to add flavor to a range of recipes, from soups and stews, to appetizers like this one. Nancie McDermott, Southern Living, 8 Nov. 2023 The opera house’s magnificent central staircase became a stage for dancers and a choral group as guests enjoyed appetizers and glasses of Dom Pérignon Rosé 2009. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 7 Nov. 2023 Serve it over ice with appetizers, or mix it with vodka for those looking for a punch. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'appetizer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see appetite

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of appetizer was in 1782

Dictionary Entries Near appetizer

Cite this Entry

“Appetizer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ap·​pe·​tiz·​er ˈap-ə-ˌtī-zər How to pronounce appetizer (audio)
: a food or drink usually served before a meal to make one hungrier
: something that creates a desire for more
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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