dessert

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noun des·sert \di-ˈzərt\

Definition of dessert

  1. 1 :  a usually sweet course or dish (as of pastry or ice cream) usually served at the end of a meal

  2. 2 British :  a fresh fruit served after a sweet course

Examples of dessert in a sentence

  1. She doesn't care for rich desserts.

  2. Coffee and tea will be served with dessert.

  3. We had ice cream and apple pie for dessert.

Where does the idiom just deserts come from?

Why do we say that someone has gotten their just deserts? Does this turn of phrase have anything to do with dessert (“a sweet food eaten at the end of a meal”) or desert (“a dry land with few plants and little rainfall”)? In fact, the phrase employs neither of these words. Instead, it uses a completely unrelated word that happens to be pronounced like the word for sweets and spelled like the one for a dry place: desert, meaning “reward or punishment deserved or earned by one’s qualities or acts.” This little-used noun is, as you might have guessed, related to the English verb deserve. It has nothing to do with arid, dry land, or with cookies and ice cream.

Origin and Etymology of dessert

Medieval French, from desservir to clear the table, from des- de- + servir to serve, from Latin servire


First Known Use: 1600


DESSERT Defined for English Language Learners

dessert

play
noun des·sert \di-ˈzərt\

Definition of dessert for English Language Learners

  • : sweet food eaten after the main part of a meal


DESSERT Defined for Kids

dessert

play
noun des·sert \di-ˈzərt\

Definition of dessert for Students

  1. :  a sweet food eaten at the end of a meal



Seen and Heard

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

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