A dish is something on which you serve, cook, or eat food. You need an extra large dish to make a casserole big enough to feed your entire extended family.

You can use the noun dish to talk about the enamel, ceramic, metal, or plastic vessel your food is in, and you can also use it for the food itself. You might say, "This macaroni and cheese was my great aunt Mathilda's favorite dish." When you serve it, you can say that you "dish it out" — although figuratively, this also means "administer punishment."

Primary Meanings of dish

a piece of dishware normally used as a container for holding or serving food
make concave; shape like a dish
a very attractive or seductive looking woman
an activity that you like or at which you are superior
Full Definitions of dish

n a piece of dishware normally used as a container for holding or serving food

“we gave them a set of dishes for a wedding present”
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a dish that is round and open at the top for serving foods
butter dish
a small dish (often with a cover) for holding butter at the table
large deep dish in which food can be cooked and served
a dish in the form of a scallop shell
boat, gravy boat, gravy holder, sauceboat
a dish (often boat-shaped) for serving gravy or sauce
Petri dish
a shallow dish used to culture bacteria
ramekin, ramequin
a small fireproof dish used for baking and serving individual portions
serving dish
a dish used for serving food
sugar bowl
a dish in which sugar is served
watch glass
laboratory glassware; a shallow glass dish used as an evaporating surface or to cover a beaker
argyle, argyll
a covered gravy holder of silver or other metal containing a detachable central vessel for hot water to keep the gravy warm
cereal bowl
a bowl for holding breakfast cereal
a small casserole in which individual portions can be cooked and served
finger bowl
small bowl for rinsing the fingers at table
mixing bowl
bowl used with an electric mixer
a shallow metal bowl (usually with a handle)
punch bowl
a large bowl for serving beverages; usually with a ladle
salad bowl
a large bowl for mixing and serving a salad
slop basin, slop bowl
a bowl into which the dregs of teacups and coffee cups are emptied at the table
soup bowl
a bowl for serving soup
large deep serving dish with a cover; for serving soups and stews
Type of:
any object that can be used to hold things (especially a large metal boxlike object of standardized dimensions that can be loaded from one form of transport to another)
crockery, dishware
tableware (eating and serving dishes) collectively

n a particular item of prepared food

“she prepared a special dish for dinner”
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piece de resistance
the most important dish of a meal
a dish of marinated vegetables and meat or fish; served with rice
entremets, side dish, side order
a dish that is served with, but is subordinate to, a main course
a dish or meal given prominence in e.g. a restaurant
food cooked and served in a casserole
liquid food especially of meat or fish or vegetable stock often containing pieces of solid food
food prepared by stewing especially meat or fish with vegetables
saffron-flavored dish made of rice with shellfish and chicken
a choice or delicious dish
a light creamy dish made from fish or meat and set with gelatin
any of various soft thick unsweetened baked dishes
sweetened mixture of milk and eggs baked or boiled or frozen
a dish made by folding a piece of pastry over a filling
individual serving of minced e.g. meat or fish in a rich creamy sauce baked in a small pastry mold or timbale shell
fish finger, fish stick
a long fillet of fish breaded and fried
buffalo wing
crisp spicy chicken wings
barbecued wing
chicken wings cooked in barbecue sauce
barbecue, barbeque
meat that has been barbecued or grilled in a highly seasoned sauce
biriani, biryani
an Indian dish made with highly seasoned rice and meat or fish or vegetables
escalope de veau Orloff
lightly sauteed veal cutlets spread with a Soubise sauce and liver paste then sprinkled with grated Parmesan and baked briefly
a dish of sauteed food
cake, patty
small flat mass of chopped food
veal parmesan, veal parmigiana
sauteed veal cutlet in a breadcrumb-and-cheese coating served with tomato sauce
veal cordon bleu
thin slices of veal stuffed with cheese and ham and then sauteed
sandwich plate
a serving consisting of a sandwich or sandwiches with garnishes
snack food
food for light meals or for eating between meals
food mixtures either arranged on a plate or tossed and served with a moist dressing; usually consisting of or including greens
(East Indian cookery) a pungent dish of vegetables or meats flavored with curry powder and usually eaten with rice
apple sauce, applesauce
puree of stewed apples usually sweetened and spiced
boiled egg, coddled egg
egg cooked briefly in the shell in gently boiling water
dropped egg, poached egg
egg cooked in gently boiling water
scrambled eggs
eggs beaten and cooked to a soft firm consistency while stirring
deviled egg, stuffed egg
halved hard-cooked egg with the yolk mashed with mayonnaise and seasonings and returned to the white
baked egg, egg en cocotte, shirred egg
egg cooked individually in cream or butter in a small ramekin
omelet, omelette
beaten eggs or an egg mixture cooked until just set; may be folded around e.g. ham or cheese or jelly
light fluffy dish of egg yolks and stiffly beaten egg whites mixed with e.g. cheese or fish or fruit
fried egg
eggs cooked by sauteing in oil or butter; sometimes turned and cooked on both sides
coq au vin
chicken and onions and mushrooms braised in red wine and seasonings
chicken provencale
chicken cooked in a sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil
chicken and rice
rice and chicken cooked together with or without other ingredients and variously seasoned
moo goo gai pan
a Cantonese dish of chicken and sauteed vegetables
bacon and eggs
eggs (fried or scrambled) served with bacon
barbecued spareribs, spareribs
baked or roasted with a spicy sauce
beef Bourguignonne, boeuf Bourguignonne
beef and mushrooms and onions stewed in red wine and seasonings
beef Wellington, filet de boeuf en croute
rare-roasted beef tenderloin coated with mushroom paste in puff pastry
a Russian dish made with patties of ground meat (mixed with onions and bread and milk) and served with a sauce of sour cream
New England boiled dinner, boiled dinner
corned beef simmered with onions and cabbage and usually other vegetables
Boston baked beans
dried navy beans baked slowly with molasses and salt pork
bubble and squeak
leftover cabbage fried with cooked potatoes and sometimes meat
a dish that contains pasta as its main ingredient
Belgian beef stew, carbonnade flamande
beef stewed in beer seasoned with garlic and served with boiled potatoes
chicken Marengo
braised chicken with onions and mushrooms in a wine and tomato sauce
chicken cordon bleu
thin slices of chicken stuffed with cheese and ham and then sauteed
Maryland chicken
chicken fried than oven-baked and served with milk gravy
chicken paprika, chicken paprikash
chicken simmered in broth with onions and paprika then mixed with sour cream
a pasta dish with cream sauce and mushrooms
chicken Kiev
pounded chicken cutlets rolled around butter (that has been seasoned with herbs) and then covered with crumbs and fried
chili, chili con carne
ground beef and chili peppers or chili powder often with tomatoes and kidney beans
chop suey
meat or fish stir-fried with vegetables (e.g., celery, onions, peppers or bean sprouts) seasoned with ginger and garlic and soy sauce; served with rice; created in the United States and frequently served in Chinese restaurants there
chow mein
chop suey served with fried noodles
seafood served in a scallop shell
coquilles Saint-Jacques
scallops in white wine sauce served in scallop shells
minced cooked meats (or vegetables) in thick white sauce; breaded and deep-fried
cottage pie
a dish of minced meat topped with mashed potatoes
minced cooked meat or fish coated in egg and breadcrumbs and fried in deep fat
dolmas, stuffed grape leaves
well-seasoned rice (with nuts or currants or minced lamb) simmered or braised in stock
egg roll, spring roll
minced vegetables and meat wrapped in a pancake and fried
eggs Benedict
toasted English muffin topped with ham and a poached egg (or an oyster) and hollandaise sauce
tortilla with meat filling baked in tomato sauce seasoned with chili
falafel, felafel
small croquette of mashed chick peas or fava beans seasoned with sesame seeds
fish and chips
fried fish and french-fried potatoes
fondu, fondue
hot cheese or chocolate melted to the consistency of a sauce into which bread or fruits are dipped
fondu, fondue
cubes of meat or seafood cooked in hot oil and then dipped in any of various sauces
French toast
bread slice dipped in egg and milk and fried; topped with sugar or fruit or syrup
Chinese fried rice, fried rice
boiled rice mixed with scallions and minced pork or shrimp and quickly scrambled with eggs
Italian omelet with diced vegetables and meats; cooked until bottom is set then inverted into another pan to cook the top
frog legs
hind legs of frogs used as food; resemble chicken and cooked as chicken
boned poultry stuffed then cooked and covered with aspic; served cold
fish ball, gefilte fish
well-seasoned balls of ground fish and eggs and crushed crumbs simmered in fish stock
made of sheep's or calf's viscera minced with oatmeal and suet and onions and boiled in the animal's stomach
ham and eggs
eggs (scrambled or fried) served with ham
chopped meat mixed with potatoes and browned
spicy Creole dish of rice and ham, sausage, chicken, or shellfish with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and celery
kabob, kebab, shish kebab
cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables
a dish of rice and hard-boiled eggs and cooked flaked fish
seafood Newburg
seafood in Newburg sauce served on toast or rice
lobster thermidor
diced lobster mixed with Mornay sauce placed back in the shell and sprinkled with grated cheese and browned
lutefisk, lutfisk
dried cod soaked in a lye solution before boiling to give it a gelatinous consistency
mixed diced fruits or vegetables; hot or cold
ground meat formed into a ball and fried or simmered in broth
meat loaf, meatloaf
a baked loaf of ground meat
casserole of eggplant and ground lamb with onion and tomatoes bound with white sauce and beaten eggs
osso buco
sliced veal knuckle or shin bone cooked with olive oil and wine and tomatoes and served with rice or vegetables
pheasant under glass
a dish of roast pheasant served in a manner characteristic of expensive restaurants
pilaf, pilaff, pilau, pilaw
rice cooked in well-seasoned broth with onions or celery and usually poultry or game or shellfish and sometimes tomatoes
pizza, pizza pie
Italian open pie made of thin bread dough spread with a spiced mixture of e.g. tomato sauce and cheese
Hawaiian dish of taro root pounded to a paste and often allowed to ferment
pork and beans
dried beans cooked with pork and tomato sauce
soft food made by boiling oatmeal or other meal or legumes in water or milk until thick
deep-dish meat and vegetable pie or a meat stew with dumplings
rijstafel, rijstaffel, rijsttaffel
dish originating in Indonesia; a wide variety of foods and sauces are served with rice
Italian rice, risotto
rice cooked with broth and sprinkled with grated cheese
a dish consisting of a slice of meat that is rolled around a filling and cooked
Salisbury steak
ground beef patty usually with a sauce
pot roast marinated several days in seasoned vinegar before cooking; usually served with potato dumplings
shredded cabbage fermented in brine
scallopine, scallopini
sauteed cutlets (usually veal or poultry) that have been pounded thin and coated with flour
large shrimp sauteed in oil or butter and garlic
Scotch egg
hard-cooked egg encased in sausage meat then breaded and deep-fried
Scotch woodcock
creamy scrambled eggs on toast spread with anchovy paste
scraps of meat (usually pork) boiled with cornmeal and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying
spaghetti and meatballs
spaghetti with meatballs in a tomato sauce
Spanish rice
spicy rice with tomatoes and onions and green peppers
cannibal mound, steak tartare, tartar steak
ground beef mixed with raw egg and e.g. onions and capers and anchovies; eaten raw
pepper steak
strips of steak sauteed with green peppers and onions
pepper steak, peppered steak, steak au poivre
steak covered with crushed peppercorns pan-broiled and served with brandy-and-butter sauce
beef Stroganoff
sauteed strips of beef and mushrooms in sour cream sauce served with noodles
stuffed cabbage
parboiled head of cabbage scooped out and filled with a hash of chopped e.g. beef or ham and baked; served with tomato or cheese sauce
kishke, stuffed derma
(Judaism) roasted fowl intestines with a seasoned filling of matzo meal and suet
stuffed peppers
parboiled green peppers stuffed usually with rice and meat and baked briefly
hot stuffed tomato, stuffed tomato
tomato cases filled with various mixtures and baked briefly
cold stuffed tomato, stuffed tomato
tomato cases filled with various salad mixtures and served cold
fresh corn and lima beans with butter or cream
thin beef strips (or chicken or pork) cooked briefly at the table with onions and greens and soy sauce
very thinly sliced raw fish
rice (with raw fish) wrapped in seaweed
Swiss steak
steak braised in tomato and onion mixture
corn and cornmeal dough stuffed with a meat mixture then wrapped in corn husks and steamed
tamale pie
a meat mixture covered with cornbread topping that resembles a Mexican dish
vegetables and seafood dipped in batter and deep-fried
beef or chicken or seafood marinated in spicy soy sauce and grilled or broiled
a pate or fancy meatloaf baked in an earthenware casserole
Welsh rabbit, Welsh rarebit, rarebit
cheese melted with ale or beer served over toast
Wiener schnitzel, schnitzel
deep-fried breaded veal cutlets
a tortilla rolled cupped around a filling
a flour tortilla folded around a filling
a flat tortilla with various fillings piled on it
frijoles refritos, refried beans
dried beans cooked and mashed and then fried in lard with various seasonings
a spicy dish that originated in northern Africa; consists of pasta steamed with a meat and vegetable stew
ramekin, ramequin
a cheese dish made with egg and bread crumbs that is baked and served in individual fireproof dishes
mold, mould
a dish or dessert that is formed in or on a mold
chicken casserole
chicken cooked and served in a casserole
soup du jour
the soup that a restaurant is featuring on a given day
alphabet soup
soup that contains small noodles in the shape of letters of the alphabet
clear soup usually of beef or veal or chicken
a thick cream soup made from shellfish
borsch, borscht, borsh, borshch, borsht, bortsch
a Russian or Polish soup usually containing beet juice as a foundation
a thin soup of meat or fish or vegetable stock
broth, stock
liquid in which meat and vegetables are simmered; used as a basis for e.g. soups or sauces
chicken soup
soup made from chicken broth
cock-a-leekie, cocky-leeky
soup made from chicken boiled with leeks
a soup made with chopped tomatoes and onions and cucumbers and peppers and herbs; served cold
a soup or stew thickened with okra pods
a clear soup garnished with julienne vegetables
soup cooked in a large pot
mock turtle soup
soup made from a calf's head or other meat in imitation of green turtle soup
a soup of eastern India that is flavored with curry; prepared with a meat or chicken base
oxtail soup
a soup made from the skinned tail of an ox
pea soup
a thick soup made of dried peas (usually made into a puree)
Philadelphia pepper pot, pepper pot
a soup made with vegetables and tripe and seasoned with peppercorns; often contains dumplings
minestrone, petite marmite, vegetable soup
soup made with a variety of vegetables
potage, pottage
thick (often creamy) soup
a stew of vegetables and (sometimes) meat
green turtle soup, turtle soup
soup usually made of the flesh of green turtles
eggdrop soup
made by stirring beaten eggs into a simmering broth
a thick soup or stew made with milk and bacon and onions and potatoes
won ton, wonton, wonton soup
a soup with won ton dumplings
split-pea soup
made of stock and split peas with onions carrots and celery
green pea soup, potage St. Germain
made of fresh green peas and stock with shredded lettuce onion and celery
lentil soup
made of stock and lentils with onions carrots and celery
Scotch broth
a thick soup made from beef or mutton with vegetables and pearl barley
a creamy potato soup flavored with leeks and onions; usually served cold
a Polish stew of cabbage and meat
Brunswick stew
spicy southern specialty: chicken (or small game) with corn and tomatoes and lima beans and okra and onions and potatoes
thick spicy stew of whatever meat and whatever vegetables are available; southern United States
Spanish burgoo, olla podrida
Spanish version of burgoo
Irish burgoo, mulligan, mulligan stew
Irish version of burgoo
chicken purloo, poilu, purloo
thick stew made of rice and chicken and small game; southern U.S.
Hungarian goulash, goulash, gulyas
a rich meat stew highly seasoned with paprika
a stew (or thick soup) made with meat and vegetables
hot pot, hotpot
a stew of meat and potatoes cooked in a tightly covered pot
Irish stew
meat (especially mutton) stewed with potatoes and onions
oyster stew
oysters in cream
lobster stew
diced lobster meat in milk or cream
lobscouse, lobscuse, scouse
a stew of meat and vegetables and hardtack that is eaten by sailors
fish stew
a stew made with fish
pieces of chicken or other meat stewed in gravy with e.g. carrots and onions and served with noodles or dumplings
beef stew
a stew made with beef
well-seasoned stew of meat and vegetables
a vegetable stew; usually made with tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onion, and seasonings
traditional French stew of vegetables and beef
a thin stew of meat and vegetables
fish mousse
mousse made with fish
chicken mousse
mousse made with chicken
carrot pudding
pudding made with grated carrots
corn pudding
pudding made of corn and cream and egg
creme caramel
baked custard topped with caramel
creme anglais
custard sauce flavored with vanilla or a liqueur
creme brulee
custard sprinkled with sugar and broiled
fruit custard
a custard containing fruit
Bavarian cream
a rich custard set with gelatin
apple turnover
turnover with an apple filling
(Yiddish) a baked or fried turnover filled with potato or meat or cheese; often eaten as a snack
pirogi, piroshki, pirozhki
small fruit or meat turnover baked or fried
small turnover of Indian origin filled with vegetables or meat and fried and served hot
fish ball, fish cake
a fried ball or patty of flaked fish and mashed potatoes
two (or more) slices of bread with a filling between them
spaghetti served with a tomato sauce
hasty pudding
sweetened porridge made of tapioca or flour or oatmeal cooked quickly in milk or water
a thin porridge (usually oatmeal or cornmeal)
potato peel, potato peelings, potato skin
crisp fried potato peeling
Saratoga chip, chip, crisp, potato chip
a thin crisp slice of potato fried in deep fat
corn chip
thin piece of cornmeal dough fried
mushy peas
marrowfat peas that have been soaked overnight and then boiled; served with fish and chips
tossed salad
salad tossed with a dressing
cooked meats and eggs and vegetables usually arranged in rows around the plate and dressed with a salad dressing
salad nicoise
typically containing tomatoes and anchovies and garnished with black olives and capers
potato salad
any of various salads having chopped potatoes as the base
pasta salad
a salad having any of various pastas as the base
fruit salad
salad composed of fruits
crab Louis
lettuce and crabmeat dressed with sauce Louis
herring salad
based on pickled herring
tuna fish salad, tuna salad
salad composed primarily of chopped canned tuna fish
chicken salad
salad composed primarily of chopped chicken meat
coleslaw, slaw
a salad made with raw, shredded cabbage
molded salad
salad of meats or vegetables in gelatin
tabbouleh, tabooli
a finely chopped salad with tomatoes and parsley and mint and scallions and bulgur wheat
lamb curry
curry made with lamb
hard-boiled egg, hard-cooked egg
an egg boiled gently until both the white and the yolk solidify
firm omelet
eggs beaten with milk or cream and cooked until set
fluffy omelet
souffle-like omelet made by beating and adding the whites separately
an Indian side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers and spices
arroz con pollo
rice and chicken cooked together Spanish style; highly seasoned especially with saffron
tubular pasta filled with meat or cheese
cheese souffle
puffy dish of cheese and eggs (whites beaten separately) and white sauce
chicken Tetrazzini
chicken prepared in a cream sauce with mushrooms and served over pasta; usually topped with cheese
egg foo yong, egg fu yung
omelet containing onions and celery and chopped meat or fish
cheese fondue
fondue made of cheese melted in wine for dipping bread and sometimes fruits
chocolate fondue
fondue made of chocolate melted with milk or cream for dipping fruits
beef fondue, boeuf fondu bourguignon
cubes of beef cooked in hot oil and then dipped in various tasty sauces
corned beef hash
hash made with corned beef
souvlaki, souvlakia
made of lamb
lasagna, lasagne
baked dish of layers of lasagna pasta with sauce and cheese and meat or vegetables
lobster Newburg, lobster a la Newburg
lobster in Newburg sauce served on buttered toast or rice
shrimp Newburg
shrimp in Newburg sauce usually served in a rice ring
macaroni and cheese
macaroni prepared in a cheese sauce
porcupine ball, porcupines
meat patties rolled in rice and simmered in a tomato sauce
Swedish meatball
meatballs simmered in stock
bulgur pilaf
pilaf made with bulgur wheat instead of rice and usually without meat
sausage pizza
tomato and cheese pizza with sausage
pepperoni pizza
tomato and cheese pizza with pepperoni
cheese pizza
pizza with lots of cheese
anchovy pizza
tomato and cheese pizza with anchovies
Sicilian pizza
pizza made with a thick crust
burgoo, oatmeal
porridge made of rolled oats
fish loaf
flaked fish baked in a loaf with bread crumbs and various seasonings
veal scallopini
thin sauteed cutlets of veal
chicken taco
a taco with a chicken filling
beef burrito
a burrito with a beef filling
a tortilla that is filled with cheese and heated
bean tostada
a flat tortilla topped with refried beans
Type of:
aliment, alimentation, nourishment, nutriment, nutrition, sustenance, victuals
a source of materials to nourish the body

n the quantity that a dish will hold

“they served me a dish of rice”
Type of:
the quantity that a container will hold

n directional antenna consisting of a parabolic reflector for microwave or radio frequency radiation

dish aerial, dish antenna, saucer
a radar dish that rotates or oscillates in order to scan a broad area
Type of:
directional antenna
an antenna that transmits or receives signals only in a narrow angle

v make concave; shape like a dish

Type of:
form, shape
give shape or form to

v provide (usually but not necessarily food)

“She dished out the soup at 8 P.M.”
dish out, dish up, serve, serve up
help, serve
help to some food; help with food or drink
cook and serve on a plank
Type of:
cater, ply, provide, supply
give what is desired or needed, especially support, food or sustenance

n a very attractive or seductive looking woman

beauty, knockout, looker, lulu, mantrap, peach, ravisher, smasher, stunner, sweetheart
Type of:
adult female, woman
an adult female person (as opposed to a man)

n an activity that you like or at which you are superior

“marriage was scarcely his dish
bag, cup of tea
Type of:
any specific behavior

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