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à la carte

[ah luh kahrt, al-uh; French a la kart] /ˌɑ lə ˈkɑrt, ˌæl ə; French a la ˈkart/
adjective, adverb
with a separate price for each dish offered on the menu:
dinner à la carte.
Origin of à la carte
1820-30; < French: according to the menu; see carte Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for a la carte
  • The restaurant offers a number of a la carte items, combination plates and vegetarian dishes.
  • Some restaurants found in these high-end areas serve small plates, or tapas, a series of a la carte items which diners may share.
  • The menu has both combination plates and a la carte options.
  • Diners may choose to order from an a la carte menu or select from a fixed price tasting menu.
  • Utilize these resources to complete the application and/or make enhancements to the school's menu or a la carte program.
  • Or, choose the a la carte options from this page to put together your own curriculum.
  • Some spa vacation rates include only the cost of the room and meals, with all activities and spa treatments sold a la carte.
  • Inclusive meals can be enjoyed at any of the five a la carte dining options or two poolside buffet restaurants.
  • Soups, salads, sides and starches are available to go along with a la carte steaks and entrees.
  • Some hotels are offering full meals while others are serving a la carte options to mix and match.
British Dictionary definitions for a la carte

à la carte

/ɑː lɑː ˈkɑːt; æ lə; French a la kart/
adjective, adverb
(of a menu or a section of a menu) having dishes listed separately and individually priced Compare table d'hôte
(of a dish) offered on such a menu; not part of a set meal
Word Origin
C19: from French, literally: according to the card
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 a la carte

1826, from French à la carte, literally "by the card" (see card (n.)); in other words, "ordered by separate items." Distinguished from a table d'hôte, meal served at a fixed, inclusive price.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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