1 [as-pik]
a savory jelly usually made with meat or fish stock and gelatin, chilled and used as a garnish and coating for meats, seafoods, eggs, etc.
a similar jelly made with spiced tomato juice and gelatin, served as a salad.

1780–90; < French; perhaps so called because the form or color resembled those of an asp. See aspic2 Unabridged


2 [as-pik]
Obsolete, asp1.

1520–30; < Middle French, perhaps = Old French asp(e) asp1 + -ic, modeled on Middle French basilique basilisk


3 [as-pik]

1595–1605; < French; Old French espic < Medieval Latin spīcus spikenard, Latin: variant of spīca, spīcum spike2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
aspic1 (ˈæspɪk)
a savoury jelly based on meat or fish stock, used as a relish or as a mould for meat, vegetables, etc
[C18: from French: aspic (jelly), asp1; variously explained as referring to its colour or coldness as compared to that of the snake]

aspic2 (ˈæspɪk)
an archaic word for asp
[C17: from French, from Old Provençal espic spike, from Latin spīca, head (of flower); compare spikenard]

aspic3 (ˈæspɪk)
either of two species of lavender, Lavandula spica or L. latifolia, that yield an oil used in perfumery: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
[C16: from Old French, a variant of aspeasp²]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1789, "savory meat jelly," from Fr. aspic "jelly" (18c.), lit. "asp," from O.Fr. aspe (13c., from L. aspis + ending from basilisc "basilisk"). Perhaps so called from its coldness (froid comme un aspic is said to be a proverbial phrase), or the colors in the gelatin, or the shape of the mold.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


savoury clear jelly prepared from a liquid stock made by simmering the bones of beef, veal, chicken, or fish. The aspic congeals when refrigerated by virtue of the natural gelatin that dissolves into the stock from the tendons; commercial sheet or powdered gelatin is sometimes added to ensure a stiff set. Aspic is used to coat and glaze foods such as cold meats and fish, eggs, poached or roasted poultry, and vegetables; plain aspic chopped or cut into shapes garnishes cold dishes. Various foods can be combined with aspic in decorative molds. Mayonnaise or sauce veloute mixed with liquid aspic yields chaud-froid, a sauce that can be coloured and used to decorate cold foods.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The fans overhead might as well be trying to stir aspic.
Add aspic mixture by spoonfuls, that designs may not be disturbed.
Salad, which includes every variety known, with or without an aspic.
Remove tails from braising mixture and brush off adhering vegetables and aspic.
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