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[dih-zurt] /dɪˈzɜrt/
cake, pie, fruit, pudding, ice cream, etc., served as the final course of a meal.
British. a serving of fresh fruit after the main course of a meal.
1780-90; < French, derivative of desservir to clear the table. See dis-1, serve
Can be confused
desert, dessert.
deserts, desserts. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dessert
  • dessert includes cheese followed by cakes, berry and fruit salads, and ice cream.
  • Or leave out the curry powder and throw in some fresh berries to make a colorful sweet slaw that's perfect as a dessert.
  • The winery produces several variations of wine including semi-sweet wines, dessert wines, dry white wines and spiced wines.
  • dessert is a bowl of fruit accompanied with hot sweet, milky tea.
  • The regulation requires that all ice cream and frozen dessert mixes be pasteurized prior to freezing, packaging, and sale.
  • It can also be used to prepare a frozen dessert that resembles soft ice cream.
  • And for dessert, honeyed butter cookies were topped by crystallized rose petals.
  • Like a fine dessert, this light novel leaves a pleasant aftertaste.
  • I've always loved the creamy Italian dessert tiramisu.
  • Serve for breakfast or luncheon, or with a sauce for dessert.
British Dictionary definitions for dessert


the sweet, usually last course of a meal
(mainly Brit) (esp formerly) fruit, dates, nuts, etc, served at the end of a meal
Word Origin
C17: from French, from desservir to clear a table, from des-dis-1 + servir to serve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dessert

c.1600, from Middle French dessert (mid-16c.) "last course," literally "removal of what has been served," from desservir "clear the table," literally "un-serve," from des- "remove, undo" (see dis-) + Old French servir "to serve" (see serve (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for dessert

the last course of a meal. In the United States dessert is likely to consist of pastry, cake, ice cream, pudding, or fresh or cooked fruit. British meals traditionally end with nuts, fruits, and port or other dessert wine, while French practice is to end with fruit, cheese, and wine; in both cuisines, a more elaborate meal would include a sweet course preceding the dessert offerings. In Spain, Portugal, and Latin-American countries, desserts of flan (a baked caramel custard) are ubiquitous. Other rich sweets based on eggs, milk, and fruits also are preferred. The elaborate cakes and tarts of central and northern Europe make the dessert course a glory of these cuisines. Indian cuisine offers sweet puddings and dense cakes flavoured with rosewater, honey, and nuts

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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