Definition of dessert
1 : a usually sweet course or dish (as of pastry or ice cream) usually served at the end of a meal
2 British : a fresh fruit served after a sweet course
Examples of dessert in a sentence
She doesn't care for rich desserts.
Coffee and tea will be served with dessert.
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
Definition of dessert for English Language Learners
: sweet food eaten after the main part of a meal
DESSERT Defined for Kids
Definition of dessert for Students
: a sweet food eaten at the end of a meal
Seen and Heard
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