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 The entree, accompanied by a carton of couscous and slivered almonds, was sufficient to become lunch for two thereafter. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "When the going gets tough, these French restaurants offer a dose of civility," 10 July 2020 Diners can expect to pay about $20 for an entree and a drink. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "4th Street Social Club to bring hyper-local, plant-based dining to Sonoma County," 8 July 2020 The school's website under the lunch menu will tell what is being offered as an entree each day. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "These Milwaukee-area school districts are offering summer meal services," 23 June 2020 Guests can purchase one adult entree for full price and receive another for free. Dallas News, "Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants offering Father’s Day specials," 13 June 2020 But homeownership was also the fastest pathway to wealth creation in this country and the entree into the middle class. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Longtime executive Tony Coles on biotech, racism, and opportunities for change," 5 June 2020 There will be one hot and one cold lunch entree offered, although some food might require cooking. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Humble ISD continues free meal distributions on Monday, Wednesday," 4 June 2020 In addition to typical noodle and curry dishes like Pad Siew and Panang Curry, the menu includes a large number of special and traditional entrees, like Soft Shell Crab Green Curry, Namtok Beef, and Chili Eggplant. al, "10 places to find the best global cuisine in Birmingham," 30 Mar. 2020 Mica Talmor, who used to run Ba-Bite on Piedmont Avenue, is now serving mezze, hummus bowls, lavash wraps and entrees such as shakshuka or lamb kefta. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "David Kinch’s Mentone and other new Bay Area restaurants open for takeout during coronavirus," 26 Mar. 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

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Entrée.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entr%C3%A9e. Accessed 7 Aug. 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on entrée

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entrée

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with entrée

Spanish Central: Translation of entrée

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