9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[suhm-uh l-yey; French saw-muh-lyey] /ˌsʌm əlˈyeɪ; French sɔ məˈlyeɪ/
noun, plural sommeliers
[suhm-uh l-yeyz; French saw-muh-lyey] /ˌsʌm əlˈyeɪz; French sɔ məˈlyeɪ/ (Show IPA)
a waiter, as in a club or restaurant, who is in charge of wines.
Origin of sommelier
1920-25; < French, Middle French, dissimilated form of *sommerier, derivative of sommier one charged with arranging transportation, equivalent to somme burden (< Late Latin sagma horse load < Greek ságma covering, pack saddle) + -ier -ier2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for sommelier
  • In the off-season, he focuses on his culinary and sommelier studies.
  • Feel free to ask the sommelier to decant your bottle.
  • Extensive, interesting and well worth discussing with a sommelier.
  • The hotel's sommelier selects all the wines in the mini-bar to accommodate all guest preferences.
  • Instead of simply sipping wine, a sommelier educates their guests about what they are drinking.
  • Diners should be sure to ask the sommelier on staff for a perfect pairing.
  • The resident sommelier puts together the wine list, which changes as he finds new favorites.
  • If you're insecure about navigating a wine list, don't be afraid to ask the sommelier.
  • The diverse flavors and textures in the meal are a challenge for even the savviest sommelier.
  • Each waiter is a trained cicerone, which is basically a sommelier for beer.
British Dictionary definitions for sommelier


a wine steward in a restaurant or hotel
Word Origin
French: butler, via Old French from Old Provençal saumalier pack-animal driver, from Late Latin sagma a packsaddle, from Greek
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sommelier

wine waiter, 1889, from French sommelier "a butler," originally an officer who had charge of provisions (13c.), from somme "pack" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *salma, corruption of sagma "a pack-saddle," later the pack on the saddle (Isidore of Seville). Also borrowed in 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sommelier

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sommelier

Scrabble Words With Friends