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

Vertical Wine Bar Detroit: This wine bar-restaurant in the Paradise Valley area of downtown Detroit serves small plates, entrees and desserts. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Don't miss these restaurants at the Free Press' Wine + Food Experience," 11 July 2019 It’s more than that, though, with a lineup of cold salads (hello, salmon Nicoise) and hot entrees (Southern shrimp with garlic-cheese grits). Allen Pierleoni, The Mercury News, "A weekend of beachy fun in Capitola-by-the-Sea," 16 June 2019 Dinner stars at $5 for chef’s soup of the day, $8 for appetizers and $11 for salads or entrees. Jessi Virtusio, Post-Tribune, "Goblin & the Grocer serves ‘Midwest small plates’ and boutique wine," 5 June 2019 The menu will also feature salads and a few entrees. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Newly-renovated Silver Spring House maintains historic feel but customers will notice changes, including the menu," 27 Apr. 2018 There are other options for great meals including the spectacular pizzas, sandwiches, salads and Italian entrees at Viccino's or the daily soup selection at Zoup! chicagotribune.com, "Swing into a spring shopping spree," 1 Apr. 2018 Much of the restaurant’s traditional Creole-Cajun tapas and entrees (crawfish etouffee, shrimp-and-alligator jambalaya) failed to sell, and Las Olas crowds preferred the menu’s American pub fare, such as burgers, grilled salmon and oysters. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale sports bar Bo’s Pub opening Aug. 9 inside the Balcony on Las Olas Boulevard," 19 July 2019 What’s better than free ice cream? Free milkshakes! Johnny Rockets is offering a complimentary milkshake with every entree purchased on July 21. Hannah Chubb, PEOPLE.com, "Here's Everywhere You Can Get Free Ice Cream and Deals for National Ice Cream Day 2019," 19 July 2019 Bread, cheese and meat plates are complemented by entrees of brisket, short ribs, fish and chili, with an array of sandwiches as well. Andre Meunier, oregonlive.com, "Hair of the Dog forged bigger, bolder future for craft beer: Portland Breweries Series," 18 July 2019

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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Statistics for entrée

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for entrée

The first known use of entrée was in 1692

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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

What made you want to look up entrée? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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