en·​trée | \ˈän-ˌtrā 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

By evening Willmott’s Ghost does table service: Diners can order fritti (a variety of fried noshes) along with Roman-style pizzas, steak and chicken entrees. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "From hot ramen to hotter hot pot: 30 restaurant openings in Seattle and on the Eastside," 28 Nov. 2018 Outside of breakfast, a variety of salads, sandwiches and entrees are on hand for the lunch and dinner hours, along with a selection of starters. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "For breakfast (or any other meal) you can't go wrong at North End Cafe," 23 May 2018 Dining at the lodge’s remarkably sophisiticated Peaks Restaurant didn't break the bank either: Burgers start at $12.50, pastas at $16 and fish and meat entrees at $21. Blake Snow, latimes.com, "A SloCal road trip gives you a geographic, climatological super sampler," 20 May 2018 Details emerged last week on how Cohen leveraged his relationship with Trump to receive millions of dollars from companies eager for insight and entree into the new president’s inner circle. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "Trump’s personal attorney solicited $1 million from government of Qatar," 16 May 2018 Their exclusive dinner menu offers multiple options for your appetizer, entree, side, and dessert. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "18 Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving This Year," 16 Oct. 2018 As for food, Mester has been developing pates, fish entrees, soups and salads along with other signature French dishes, although the menu will reflect a variety of cultures. Anna Muckerman, baltimoresun.com, "European-style cafe and wine bar coming to Station North," 13 July 2018 On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "Lena Dunham Gained 24 Pounds—and Is Happier Than Ever," 10 July 2018 On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Lena Dunham Shares Body Positive Message, Feels 'Happy Joyous & Free' After Weight Gain," 10 July 2018

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

1725, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for entrée

French entrée, from Old French — more at entry

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Statistics for entrée

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for entrée

The first known use of entrée was in 1725

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More Definitions for entrée



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on entrée

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with entrée

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entrée

Spanish Central: Translation of entrée

Comments on entrée

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