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[ben-toh; Japanese ben-taw] /ˈbɛn toʊ; Japanese ˈbɛn tɔ/
noun, plural bentos; Japanese, bento. Japanese Cookery.
a meal, usually served in a lacquered or elaborately decorated box that is divided into sections for holding individual portions of food.
Also called obento.
< Japanese bentō, probably < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese bān manage, provide + dāng apply, i.e., provision for an eat-out meal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bento
  • Tempura, grilled salmon and bento round out the menu.
  • The menu here is huge, with discounted lunch specials and bento boxes served with a variety of sides.
  • There are a variety of bento boxes to choose from during weekday lunch specials.
  • Discounted lunch specials here include bento boxes, stir fries and sushi meals.
  • Entree selections include various soba noodles, wines, beers and bento boxes filled with shrimp or chicken hibachi.
  • Lunch combos feature a large lacquer bento box filled with entrée combinations, rice and salad.
  • Vegetarians have a range of options here, and children get their own bento boxes.
  • The lunch crowd can take advantage of a full sushi buffet, or grab a bento lunch to bring back to the office.
  • Other worthwhile dishes are broiled eel, noodle soups and the economic bento box meals.
  • There are bento box lunches, panini, pizzas and sandwiches to order and eat at sidewalk tables or upstairs at green marble tables.
British Dictionary definitions for bento


noun (pl) -tos
a thin box, made of plastic or lacquered wood, divided into compartments which contain small separate dishes comprising a Japanese meal, esp lunch
Word Origin
Japanese bentō box lunch
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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