An appetizer is part of a meal that's served before the main course. You might serve your dinner guests an appetizer of crab-stuffed mushrooms when they first arrive for dinner.

Usually, an appetizer is a small serving of food — just a few bites — meant to be eaten before an entree, and often shared by several people. You can also call an appetizer an hors d'oeuvre. An appetizer is meant to stimulate your appetite, making you extra hungry for your meal. This is where the word comes from, literally meaning "something to whet the appetite" or "something to appetize."

Definitions of appetizer

n food or drink to stimulate the appetite (usually served before a meal or as the first course)

appetiser, starter
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a course of appetizers in an Italian meal
an appetizer consisting usually of a thin slice of bread or toast spread with caviar or cheese or other savory food
an appetizer served as a first course at a meal
hors d'oeuvre
a dish served as an appetizer before the main meal
raw vegetables cut into bite-sized strips and served with a dip
fruit cocktail
a mixture of sliced or diced fruits
crab cocktail
a cocktail of cold cooked crabmeat and a sauce
shrimp cocktail
a cocktail of cold cooked shrimp and a sauce
celery stick
celery stalks cut into small sticks
carrot stick
a stick of carrot eaten raw
stuffed mushroom
mushrooms stuffed with any of numerous mixtures of e.g. meats or nuts or seafood or spinach
a pickled herring filet that has been rolled or wrapped around a pickle
pigs in blankets
small frankfurters wrapped in biscuit dough and baked
Type of:
part of a meal served at one time

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