en·​trée | \ ˈän-ˌtrā How to pronounce entrée (audio) also än-ˈtrā \
variants: or entree

Definition of entrée

1a : the act or manner of entering : entrance
b : freedom of entry or access
2 : the main course of a meal in the U.S.

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Did You Know?

The culinary sense of entrée can be traced back to 18th-century Britain. In those days a formal dinner could include not only the principal courses of soup, fish, meat, and dessert, but also an impressive array of side dishes. Between the fish and meat courses would come a small side dish, and because this secondary dish came immediately before the centerpiece of the meal, it was called the entrée, being, in effect, the entrance to the really important part of the meal. As dining habits have changed, meals have become simpler, and fewer courses are served. However, in the US, the course following the appetizer continued to be called the entrée, perhaps because it is a French word, and anything French always sounds elegant.

Examples of entrée in a Sentence

We had steak as an entrée. entrée to the country club is through sponsorship by someone who is already a member
Recent Examples on the Web Self-deceit was the only way to convince yourself that the low-calorie frozen entree didn’t taste like homework, Facebook photo albums, syndicated reruns, nights home alone, and, actually, hunger. Mariella Rudi, Bon Appétit, "Making Amends With Lean Cuisine," 7 Oct. 2020 Chuy's Add a crispy beef taco to any entree for $1 on Sunday. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Here's where you can score free and cheap tacos for Taco Day," 4 Oct. 2020 Banchan are one of the great joys of Korean cuisine, complementing the entree, such as a grilled meat or a bubbling stew, but treasured in their own right. Eric Kim, New York Times, "A Spread Worthy of Royalty," 28 Sep. 2020 Enjoy a house or Caesar salad with any entree from their dinner menu, plus dessert. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Here’s where to eat during Maryland’s restaurant week, which starts today," 18 Sep. 2020 The happy couple are therefore within their rights not to reissue invitations that were previously declined merely because the date, the location and the entree (though not, perhaps, the bridegroom) have changed. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Being honest with acquaintances, but not too honest," 3 Sep. 2020 This locally elusive entree does a great job of anointing the avocado, with three tortillas filled with two any-style eggs, cheese, salsa, refried beans and a customer’s choice of chicken, ground beef or chorizo. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, "Hola, guacamole: Five avocado dishes to try in Grand Prairie," 31 July 2020 For an entree, there’s trout amandine, grilled lamb with pomme frites or roasted Scottish salmon. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Here’s where to eat during Maryland’s restaurant week, which starts today," 18 Sep. 2020 The lettuce wraps are nice eat-with-your-hands appetizers, but the beans can become an entree if served with steamed rice. SFChronicle.com, "Recipes for a seasonal bounty: Starters," 18 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'entrée.' 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 entrée

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for entrée

French entrée, from Old French — more at entry

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Time Traveler for entrée

Time Traveler

The first known use of entrée was in 1692

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Statistics for entrée

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Entrée.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entr%C3%A9e. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for entrée


How to pronounce entrée (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of entrée

: the main dish of a meal especially in a restaurant
: the act or manner of entering something
: the right to enter something

More from Merriam-Webster on entrée

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entrée

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