ap·pe·tiz·er | \ˈa-pə-ˌtī-zər \

Definition of appetizer 

1 : 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.

2 : 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

For $40 per person, parties get their own table, a bucket of bubbly for every five guests, a giant cupcake and your choice of appetizers. Samantha Nelson, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago bachelor and bachelorette party ideas you can book at the last minute," 27 June 2018 Pick one of three appetizers, your choice of salad or a glass of wine and two of six specialty pizzas. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Savor Midtown offers dinner bargains in Broad Ripple," 12 June 2018 The menu, three courses for $38, consists of three appetizers, three main courses and two desserts. Phil Vettel,, "Le Bouchon celebrates 25th anniversary with $38 menu," 6 June 2018 Taste of Little Italy’s 10th annual culinary walking tour offers an array of appetizers, entree samplers, dessert and beverages from nearly 20 restaurants, breweries, wine bars and specialty gourmet shops. Carolina Gusman,, "Cheers! to Baskin-Robbins' wine and ice cream pairings," 31 May 2018 The other night, a heady flight of appetizers more than proved her authority. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "An All-Women Staff Serves Japanese-Hotpot Omakase at Shabu Shabu Macoron," 11 May 2018 At the end of every episode, a life has been changed, furniture has been rearranged, a strange appetizer has been cooked, and people are weeping happy tears. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "9 Emmy-Nominated Shows You Can Binge to Escape Reality," 13 July 2018 Finally, for sit-down places, the meal had to at least include two entrees and one appetizer. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "Date night under $50: What to order at some of Chicago's best restaurants," 12 July 2018 Prices: Soups and salads are $5-$13; appetizers $8-$15; entrees are $13-$29 and desserts are $6. Philip Potempa, Daily Southtown, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Tribes Alehouse in Tinley Park," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appetizer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of appetizer

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for appetizer

see appetite

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about appetizer

Statistics for appetizer

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for appetizer

The first known use of appetizer was in 1782

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for appetizer



English Language Learners Definition of appetizer

: a small dish of food served before the main part of a meal


ap·pe·tiz·er | \ˈa-pə-ˌtī-zər \

Kids Definition of appetizer

: a food or drink served before a meal

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on appetizer

What made you want to look up appetizer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!