1 : festival
2 a : a lavish often outdoor entertainment
b : a large elaborate party
Did You Know?
Fete is a word worth celebrating. It's been around since Middle English, when it was used in a manuscript to refer to "fetes, spectacles and other worldly vanytees." Since the 19th century, fete has been doing double duty, also serving as a verb meaning "to honor or commemorate with a fete." You can honor fete by remembering that it entered English from Middle French, and that it derives ultimately from the Old French feste, meaning "festival"—a root that, not surprisingly, also gave English the word feast. Because of its French ties, you will sometimes see fete spelled with a circumflex above the first e (fête), as that's how it appears in that language.
To celebrate her parents' 50th wedding anniversary, Eileen threw an evening fete to which she invited all their friends and family members.
"Proceeds from the fete will help build specially adapted smart homes for our nation's most catastrophically injured service members." — Carol Ann Benanti, The Staten Island (New York) Advance, 11 Nov. 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to complete a word that refers to a party with music and conversation in ancient Greece: s _ _ p _ si _ _ .VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP