SKIP TO CONTENT

au gratin

When you cook a dish au gratin, you sprinkle it with breadcrumbs and brown the top in a hot oven. Some au gratin recipes also call for melted, browned cheese.

If you make potatoes au gratin, you might slice them thinly, layer them in a baking dish with cheese, top with fresh bread crumbs, and bake the whole thing in an oven for an hour. There are many variations on casseroles that can be prepared au gratin and made even more delicious. The phrase au gratin literally means "by grating" in French, or "with a crust," from the verb gratter, "to scrape, scratch, or grate."

Definitions of au gratin
  1. adjective
    cooked while covered with browned breadcrumbs (and sometimes cheese)
    Synonyms:
    cooked
    having been prepared for eating by the application of heat
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week