hors d'oeuvre

hors d'oeuvre

[awr durv; French awr dœ-vruh]
noun, plural hors d'oeuvre, hors d'oeuvres [awr durvz; French awr dœ-vruh] .
a small bit of appetizing food, as spicy meat, fish, cheese, or a preparation of chopped or creamed foods, often served on crackers or small pieces of toast, for eating at cocktail parties or other gatherings where drinks are served with no other food.
an appetizer, as a relish or more elaborate preparation, served before or as the first course of a meal.

1705–15; < French: outside of the main course

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World English Dictionary
hors d'oeuvre (ɔː ˈdɜːvr, French ɔr dœvrə)
n , pl hors d'oeuvre, hors d'oeuvres
an additional dish served as an appetizer, usually before the main meal
[C18: from French, literally: outside the work, not part of the main course]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

hors d'oeuvre
1714, "out of the ordinary," from Fr. hors d'oeuvre, "outside the ordinary courses (of a meal)," lit. "apart from the main work," from hors, var. of fors "outside" (from L. fortis) + de "from" + oeuvre "work," from L. opera, (see opus). Meaning "extra dish set out before a
meal or between courses" attested in Eng. from 1742.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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