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[del-i-kuh-tes-uh n] /ˌdɛl ɪ kəˈtɛs ən/
a store selling foods already prepared or requiring little preparation for serving, as cooked meats, cheese, salads, and the like.
Informal. the food products sold in such a store or at a counter:
We're having delicatessen for dinner.
Origin of delicatessen
1885-90, Americanism; < German, plural of Delikatesse dainty < French délicatesse Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for delicatessen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After several blocks the window of a delicatessen store showed him she was more composed, and he again offered her his arm.

    To Him That Hath Leroy Scott
  • I picked it up as I was coming back from the delicatessen shop.

  • The idea of the delicatessen dinner—whatever it might be—alone with Letitia, in our newly-acquired home, was simply captivating.

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
  • And here, you may visit the delicatessen shop to good purpose.

    The Feasts of Autolycus Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • “Mister” Frau Deuseldorf kept a delicatessen shop in town and the couple had rooms behind the shop.

  • Those stars must have been put there by the delicatessen man when you bought the bread.

    The Black Star Johnston McCulley
  • I quite forgot her lack of evening dress, in which she had been so resplendently imperious at Anna Carter's delicatessen spread.

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
  • After that she almost forgot to stop at the delicatessen store for her rolls and butter and cold meat.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • In that apartment, however, the delicatessen dinner was still laid.

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
British Dictionary definitions for delicatessen


a shop selling various foods, esp unusual or imported foods, already cooked or prepared
such foods
Word Origin
C19: from German Delikatessen, literally: delicacies, pl of Delikatesse a delicacy, from French délicatesse
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 delicatessen

1889, American English, from German delikatessen, plural of delikatesse "a delicacy, fine food," from French délicatesse (1560s), from délicat "fine," from Latin delicatus (see delicate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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