Dictionary.com Word FAQs
What is the difference between dinner and supper?
Supper is a light evening meal - served in early evening if dinner is at midday or served late in the evening after an early-evening dinner. Either way, it is regarded as the last meal of the day. Dinner is the main meal of the day, served either in the evening or at midday. However, in certain regions of the US (New England in particular), the words are used interchangeably for the main evening meal. Supper is the older word, dating to c. 1275, and is the less formal term. Dinner dates to 1297 and signifies the chief meal of the day, no matter what time it is served, and is a formally arranged meal, sometimes given to celebrate something or in honor of someone. Both terms derived from similarly spelled French words.