\ ˈde-lē How to pronounce deli (audio) \
plural delis

Definition of deli

: a store where ready-to-eat food products (such as cooked meats and prepared salads) are sold : delicatessen You shuffle off to the deli and pick up a pastrami-on-rye and an egg cream. The bald man behind the counter whistles cheerfully as he slices the meat.— Jay McInerney Sixth Avenue in midtown was once lined with convenient, low-priced delis, cafeterias, coffee shops, and the like.— Brendan Gill also : the food sold at a delicatessen If you're hungry for deli in Miami, only the Rascal House will do. — Norman Kolpas … a neat, orderly, well-lighted place so clean you could eat deli off the floor … — Jack Fincher often used before another noun deli meats/platterswaiting in line at the deli counter

Examples of deli in a Sentence

We bought sandwiches and drinks at the deli.
Recent Examples on the Web The protesters smashed windows at the deli and the furniture store next to his apartment’s lobby. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Video shows police shot downtown Cleveland resident in head, back with pepper balls as he tried to enter his apartment: ‘they just lit me up'," 10 July 2020 The deli went through about 80 pounds of lobster meat the first year. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Lobster week is now lobster month at Mudgie's Deli in Corktown," 9 July 2020 The deli’s other employees are Cece Garcia and Lulu Gallegos. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "‘Hard-headed’ couple ensure tiny Bay Area deli perseveres in pandemic," 8 July 2020 Keith had spent over four months in the Hillsboro, Oregon, county jail — charged with robbing a deli with a fake gun — when his delusions returned this February. oregonlive, "For mentally ill defendants, coronavirus means few safe options," 13 July 2020 For the first time in its 132-year history, the deli, a New York City staple known for its pastrami sandwiches, is adding outdoor seating in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Alec Snyder, CNN, "Katz's Deli offers outdoor dining for first time in its 132-year history," 11 July 2020 Over the years, lobster roll week grew and grew, with lines of lobster-craving patrons formed outside the deli. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Lobster week is now lobster month at Mudgie's Deli in Corktown," 9 July 2020 Picnicking with outside food is welcome, and cheese and deli meats are sold at the gift shop. Chris Macias,, "Napa’s Rombauer brings its butter-bomb Chardonnay to its new tasting room in Gold Country," 22 June 2020 Circa will also offer some unique dining experiences, such as Saginaw’s Delicatessen (a family-style deli), Victory Burger & Wings Co., Barry’s Downtown Prime (a high-end steakhouse), and Project BBQ (a local Carolina-style barbeque food truck). Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "The First-ever Adults-only Casino in Vegas Will Have America’s Largest Pool Amphitheater," 26 June 2020

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

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First Known Use of deli

circa 1954, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of deli was circa 1954

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deli.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for deli


How to pronounce deli (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deli

: a store where you can buy foods (such as meats, cheese, salads, and sandwiches) that are already cooked or prepared


\ ˈde-lē How to pronounce deli (audio) \
plural delis

Kids Definition of deli

More from Merriam-Webster on deli

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deli

Spanish Central: Translation of deli

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