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[shur-bit] /ˈʃɜr bɪt/
a frozen fruit-flavored mixture, similar to an ice, but with milk, egg white, or gelatin added.
British. a drink made of sweetened fruit juice diluted with water and ice.
a frozen fruit or vegetable purée, served either between courses to cleanse the palate or as a dessert.
1595-1605; < Turkish < Persian sharbat < Arabic sharbah a drink
Can be confused
ice cream, sherbet, sorbet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sherbet
  • Nobody much liked sherbet, but when it changed its name to sorbet it became suddenly chic.
  • Visitors will find a menu of rotating ice cream and sherbet flavors.
British Dictionary definitions for sherbet


a fruit-flavoured slightly effervescent powder, eaten as a sweet or used to make a drink: lemon sherbet
(US & Canadian) a water ice made from fruit juice, egg whites, milk, etc Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) sorbet
(Austral, slang) beer
a cooling Oriental drink of sweetened fruit juice
(South African, informal) a euphemistic word for (taboo) shit
Word Origin
C17: from Turkish şerbet, from Persian sharbat, from Arabic sharbah drink, from shariba to drink
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 sherbet

c.1600, zerbet, "drink made from diluted fruit juice and sugar," and cooled with fresh snow when possible, from Turkish serbet, from Persian sharbat, from Arabic sharba(t) "a drink," from shariba "he drank." Formerly also sherbert.Related to syrup, and cf. sorbet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for sherbet

frozen dessert usually flavoured with fruit, made from water, sugar, flavourings, and milk or cream. Egg white or gelatin may be added to ensure a fine texture. Sherbets may also be flavoured with wine or liqueurs. By U.S. federal regulation, sherbets must contain a minimum of 1 percent and a maximum of 2 percent butterfat. Water ice, called in French sorbet and in Italian granita, is similar to sherbet but contains no dairy ingredients.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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