noun, often attributive
din·​ner | \ ˈdi-nər How to pronounce dinner (audio) \

Definition of dinner

1a : the principal meal of the day having dinner at five o'clock
b : a formal feast or banquet held a dinner in her honor
3 : the food prepared for a dinner eat your dinner
4 : a packaged meal usually for quick preparation warmed up a frozen dinner

Other Words from dinner

dinnerless \ ˈdi-​nər-​ləs How to pronounce dinner (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for dinner


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Frequently Asked Questions About dinner

What is the difference between dinner and supper?

In modern use dinner and supper both usually refer to the main meal of the day eaten in the evening, with dinner being the slightly more formal word. Formerly, dinner typically referred to a main meal eaten in the middle of the day, while supper referred to a light meal eaten in the evening. That meaning of supper is still current in British English and among some speakers of American English.

What time is dinner?

The word dinner typically now refers to the main meal of the day eaten in the evening. In the phrase "Sunday dinner," dinner often refers to a main meal eaten earlier in the day on Sunday.

Why is it called dinner?

The word dinner comes from the Anglo-French (that is, the French spoken in medieval England) word disner, meaning "to dine." It has been in use since the 13th century.

Examples of dinner in a Sentence

We had many pleasant dinners together. We're planning to ask them to dinner soon. Two hundred people attended his retirement dinner.
Recent Examples on the Web Their romantic getaway included a seaside dinner with red roses, a Chanel wardrobe, couples massages and more. Sophie Dodd, PEOPLE.com, 28 July 2022 Also popular is Cincinnati's Table, a dinner held in different communities that brings together immigrants and their communities. Taylor Burnette, The Enquirer, 28 July 2022 Sign up here to get one weeknight dinner recipe, tips for substitutions, techniques and more in your inbox Monday through Thursday. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 28 July 2022 With so many vigorous opinions aboard, even small matters can chafe, as when the crew’s cook, Danny Corjulo, announces dinner too early for Mr. Buck’s serenity. Danny Heitman, WSJ, 28 July 2022 The praise for Kennedy is coming mostly from food writers, chefs and people who don’t blink at dropping hundreds of dollars on dinner. Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2022 Nobody’s boss could ping them from their pocket at dinner time. Mike Weinberger, Rolling Stone, 27 July 2022 Lunch is served seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and dinner is served Mondays through Fridays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Visit www.cornerstone-cares.org for more information. Hartford Courant, 27 July 2022 Have breakfast at Morning Glory Cafe, lunch at the Farm Kitchen and dinner at Quiessence. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 27 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of dinner

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dinner

Middle English diner, from Anglo-French disner, diner meal, from disner to dine

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Time Traveler for dinner

Time Traveler

The first known use of dinner was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near dinner



dinner cloth

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Statistics for dinner

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dinner.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dinner. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dinner


din·​ner | \ ˈdi-nər How to pronounce dinner (audio) \

Kids Definition of dinner

1 : the main meal of the day
2 : a usually large formal event at which a meal is served

More from Merriam-Webster on dinner

Nglish: Translation of dinner for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dinner for Arabic Speakers


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