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[ah-per-i-teef, uh-per-; French a-pey-ree-teef] /ɑˌpɛr ɪˈtif, əˌpɛr-; French a peɪ riˈtif/
noun, plural apéritifs
[ah-per-i-teefs; French a-pey-ree-teef] /ɑˌpɛr ɪˈtifs; French a peɪ riˈtif/ (Show IPA)
a small drink of alcoholic liquor taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal.
Also called apéritif wine. a wine served as an appetizer or cocktail.
Origin of apéritif
1890-95; < French (vin) apéritif; see aperitive Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aperitif
Historical Examples
  • A French cafe was installed there, and two or three soldiers were taking their aperitif before dinner out in the air.

    The Garden Of Allah Robert Hichens
  • The man will bring you an aperitif while I escape from this accursed frock coat.

    Ewing\'s Lady Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for aperitif


/ɑːˌpɛrɪˈtiːf; əˌpɛr-/
an alcoholic drink, esp a wine, drunk before a meal to whet the appetite
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Medieval Latin aperitīvus, from Latin aperīre to open
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 aperitif

1894, "alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite," from French apéritif "laxative, laxative liqueur," literally "opening," from Latin aperitivus, from aperire "to open" (see overt). Cf. Middle English apertive (adj.), a medical word meaning "capable of opening or dilating" (pores, etc.), early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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